NASCAR once again came up with a new rule that misses the point on what it is trying to prevent.
Enter starting next season Cup teams will have to use 13 engines during the year for two full race weekends. The rule, which sounds on the surface to be a cost savings measure for teams, actually seems designed to keep drivers from “burning it down” after victories.
With Denny Hamlin’s recent penalties and encumbered win, the talk of the week has been what can NASCAR do to prevent rule bending going forward? Well one such way is to keep drivers from destroying their cars during post-race celebrations.
This new rule will most likely have some unintended consequences we won’t find out about until next year, but I believe taking wins away would be the best deterrent for teams to not bend the rules. I get that pushing it to the limit is a part of NASCAR history, but sometimes you have to make a REALLY BIG MESSAGE for teams to understand that it’s NASCAR’s sandbox they are playing in.
Just look at the very first NASCAR sanctioned race run June 19, 1949 at the Charlotte Speedway (a 3/4 mile dirt track, not to be confused with Charlotte Motor Speedway, which would be built years later). The fans saw Glenn Dunnaway cross the finish line first in the event, but during post-race inspection he was disqualified for illegal use of rear springs. Jim Roper was then declared the race winner, pocketing $2,000 for his efforts.
If fans want a precedent of when this has occurred, there you go. This sort of hammer drop hasn’t been done in quite some time, but I believe it is time to really go old school.