Welcome to Warped Wednesday, our new feature at From the Marbles. On it, we'll put out the rush to judgment map, go a little too far and have a little fun. Will it be funny? Sometimes. Will it be crazy and largely unbelievable? Probably. Will not everyone get it? Definitely.
NASCAR has done it again.
Shortly after they raised the ire of many fans and media members with its fine of Denny Hamlin after the Phoenix race, they've gone and done the wrong thing again by not issuing any penalties in the aftermath of Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway.
Let's begin with Tony Stewart. In no way shape or form should a man be allowed to go after another man half his weight and half his age and half his body hair on pit road and not be punished for it. That's assault and battery if I've ever seen it. That open handed, weak-wristed punch that Stewart threw? Unacceptable. That's at least a six-figure fine and a suspension right there. Come on, NASCAR.
Oh, and that language in the post-race interview. Just completely unacceptable. NASCAR drivers are impeccable, upstanding citizens who would never stoop to the levels of cussing in front of other people. That's unbecoming to the sport, and Stewart absolutely denigrated an entire profession with his censored interview on Fox.
The man he was going after, Joey Logano, should be facing a ban that's at least five races in nature. Where in America can you hit a member of your own crew on the top of the head like Logano did and expect to get away with it? The man could have had a concussion. Just think if Logano would have had biceps 1/10th the size of Stewart's waist? That could have been vicious. And water bottle throwing? That's incredibly dangerous too. Do you know what's in water bottles? You don't. You think it could be water, but what if it was hydrochloric acid or arsenic or red wine? What has Stewart's firesuit launderer done to warrant having to remove a red wine stain?
That penalty Logano should have gotten from his fracas with Stewart should also have been tacked on to the one he got for racing Denny Hamlin like he did. Revenge, shmevenge. That was awful driving. How can Logano drive his car as hard as he did on the final lap of the race and everyone view it as acceptable? It's not. Yes, it may be the last lap, but it's California. No one drives hard at California. It's not in the Chase and it's a boring, lame 2-mile track. You've seen the racing at intermediate tracks before. No one runs hard. Logano broke a terrible unwritten rule.
He should have done everything in his power to not touch Hamlin's car, even if that meant losing the race, which, as you may remember, ended up happening anyway. In that situation, the most important thing was for Logano to maintain his line and give Hamlin plenty of room. Payback can be saved for another time, like at Richmond in the fall when Hamlin had safely made the Chase.
Instead, we enter this off week with no one missing any points or any lighter in the pocketbook -- that we know of, anyway. If NASCAR has any sense, Stewart and Logano will have been secretly fined and suspended this off-weekend. Let's think of the NASCAR Foundation in times like this.
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