Kurt Busch's Team Reportedly Gets New Hampshire Penalty

Lee Spencer of FoxSports.com reported Friday that Kurt Busch's team had been busted for "harboring an extra set of tires" it obtained from a go-or-go-home team.

This morning, the penalty was revealed. According to Spencer:

As a penalty, NASCAR kept Busch off the track for the first 15 minutes of the second practice session of the weekend as well as took away one of the team's six sets of practice tires.

Teams are allowed six sets of tires for practice and qualifying at New Hampshire. (Busch) will retain all eight sets of his tires for the Sylvania 300.

In the Spencer story, crew chief Steve Addington is quoted as saying it was a "miscommunication with NASCAR."

Yeah, right. I don't believe that a smart, veteran crew chief like Addington didn't know what his team was doing with the extra tires.

That leads to a question: Why risk any rule-bending in the Chase?

I suppose it depends how major the rule is – and what you anticipate the consequences will be.

Apparently NASCAR viewed this as a minor rule violation, since it only imposed a penalty for practice. I'm not at the track, so I don't know if NASCAR is planning any further action (such as probation or a fine for Addington), but that doesn't seem likely.

Still, what if NASCAR had deemed this a points violation? It just doesn't seem worth it.

Then again, I'm not a crew chief. And maybe Addington felt like he was learning some valuable information for the race by reportedly using two fresh tires along with two scuffed tires to make a qualifying run (practicing a two-tire strategy for a green-white-checkered?).

And obviously, he didn't anticipate any issues with NASCAR.

Again, though, I have to wonder: Why risk it?

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