Hamlin was docked 75 points dropping him from 11th to 21st in point standings, though with a win already this season he is still in good shape to make The Chase. Owner Joe Gibbs was docked 75 owner points as well. Car Chief Wesley Sherrill was suspended for 6 races and put on 6 months probation. Crew Chief Darian Grubb was given the same penalties as Sherrill, plus he was fined $125,000. JGR is going to appeal the penalties, but Grubb and Sherrill will not be part of the team at Pocono this weekend. The two could maintain their duties during the appeal process, but if the penalties were not overturned, the two would miss at least one Chase race.
I will never be accused of being a Denny Hamlin fan. Instead of fining Grubb, I wish they had docked Hamlin 250 points. This would have dropped Hamlin from the top 30 meaning he would have to work in the next six weeks to get back in the top 30 to qualify for The Chase.
It should come as no surprise when I say that I would like Tony Stewart, Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson to each win one of the last six races before The Chase begins. I would also like to see Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch move ahead of Hamlin in the point standings. By my reckoning that would move Hamlin out of The Chase. Icing on the cake would be if those six win a race, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, and Austin Dillon would be winless and not make The Chase either. Hey, I have been blogging about racing for over six years and have never been shy about proclaiming likes and dislikes.
Unfortunately the likelihood of those six each winning one of the remaining pre-Chase races is close to me winning Powerball. I still play the game though, so I can keep my fingers crossed at least until the finish of the always exciting GoBowling.com 400 from Pocono on Sunday. How many of you would rather go bowling than watch 400 miles of “racing” from Pocono? Yeah, me too and I haven’t seen the inside of a bowling alley in 20 years.
Oh, as far as race penalties go, this was second only to last year’s Michael Waltrip Racing penalties resulting from the infamous Clint Bowyer spin at Richmond. Bad boy, bad boy, bad boy. Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad boy, bad boy.
NASCAR gets to appear tough with penalties like given to Hamlin, but quite often its Appeals Board negates at least part of the penalty handed down. My prediction on what the board might do:
-cut the Hamlin and Gibbs point penalties to 50 each.
-cut the Grubb fine to $50,000.
-cut the Grubb and Sherrill suspensions to two weeks.
-leave the probation period for Grubb and Sherrill at six months.
Thanks for stopping by.