NASCAR America — Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett: Winners that break rules should be DQ’d, face six-figure fines

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Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett have seen and had enough.

On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, the two NASCAR on NBC analysts and former NASCAR Cup drivers reacted strongly to some of the penalties that were handed out earlier in the day by NASCAR.

In short:

Which brings us back full circle to Burton and Jarrett, who made their feelings on the penalties very clear.

Burton:

“I think it’s time to start disqualifying people. I think it’s time in today’s world where Denny Hamlin won that race and by him winning that race, that kept someone else from winning the race, and no one got those five points moving into the playoffs.

“It’s time to disqualify people. It’s time to say, ‘If you’re illegal, here’s the rules.’ Whether you like the rules or not, that’s not the question. These are the rules as written. If you are found to break the rules, and it’s not a mistake, it 100 percent happened  — and even if it is a mistake, you have to be responsible for them.

“It’s time to start taking wins away. It’s time to give the points to the person that won the race. Any team that wins and did it illegal didn’t win the race. Every short track in the country takes wins away, but we can’t do it here.”

Jarrett:

“I agree 100 percent with Jeff that we’re going to start disqualifying people. And the two of us can understand that: Jeff and I had wins taken away in the Xfinity Series, the only two people that I know of that had that happen since 1982. Mine was at Michigan (and Burton’s was in Pulaski, Virginia). So, it can be done.

“It’s not fair that on Wednesday, we find out that the winner of the race has cheated — has bent the rules. I hate the word ‘cheated,’ but everybody’s trying everything they can.”

Jarrett also called for a new system where cars should be inspected before they go to victory lane. If the car passes at-track, but violations are found when the winning car is taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina, Jarrett said throw the book at the offending teams.

“Then if they want to take the cars back and find something wrong, then it’s a huge financial penalty — I’m talking hundreds of thousands of dollars — to put a stop to this.”

Another point brought up today: Why are penalties attached to drivers and not teams?

Check out the video below for more:

 

Truck practice report at Atlanta

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Justin Haley was the fastest in the first of two practices Friday for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He had a top lap of 178.029 mph.

Daytona winner Johnny Sauter was second with a lap of 177.040 mph. He was followed by Myatt Snider (177.040 mph), Stewart Friesen (176.995) and Noah Gragson (176.589).

There were no incidents in the session.

Final Truck practice will be from 4:05 – 4:50 p.m. ET.

Click here for Truck 1 practice

Police investigating vandalism, theft at North Wilkesboro Speedway

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The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of vandalism and theft at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the track, which last hosted a NASCAR Cup race in 1996, suffered damage of about $10,000 when several trespassers were on the grounds last weekend. No arrests have been made.

The report states that several windows were broken and other damage was done to the structures. Also, large amounts of electrical wire and circuit breakers were reported missing.

The investigation continues.

North Wilkesboro Speedway hosted NASCAR Cup races from 1949-96. Winners included Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Junior Johnson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon, who won the final race there.

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Others’ predictions motivating Austin Dillon after Daytona 500 win: ‘I guess they don’t believe it yet’

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HAMPTON, Ga. – Fresh off the greatest victory of his NASCAR career, Austin Dillon already has motivation to win the next.

The Richard Childress Racing driver heard others predict this week that the Daytona 500 would be his only victory this season.

“I think on Race Hub, Brad (Keselowski) and Chad (Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson) saying that we weren’t going to win again,” Dillon said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “So, that was good to hear. That was something to get me fired up a little bit more and our team, get those competitive juices flowing again. So, we will just keep rocking it however we can. We still have a lot to work on.”

Prior to Daytona, Dillon’s lone win in four seasons as a full-time Cup driver came in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600. His No. 3 Chevrolet qualified for the playoffs the past two seasons, but his top 10s (13 to four) and average finish (15.9 to 18.6) slipped demonstrably from 2016 to ’17.

“So yesterday in my group text with my buddies they watched Chad Knaus and Brad Keselowski, and it was like, ‘All right, it’s time to keep knocking them down, I guess they don’t believe it yet,’” Dillon said. “We’ve got to step up though at RCR. We’ve still got a lot to prove. It’s a speedway race, even though it’s the biggest race in our deal, it’s a speedway race.  We’ve got a lot more to prove.

“(Competition executive) Andy Petree and all the guys are RCR are working hard. I think coming down to a two-car team move is big for us. We’ve got to take advantage of that. I’m not going to lie, I’m tired right now, but we are going to kick butt this weekend and get back regrouped and get in the groove and try and gain as many bonus points as we can.”

But qualifying for the playoffs by winning the season opener should be a morale booster that avoids any letdown.

“The one thing they don’t have right now that we have is a win,” Dillon said. “So, we are on top right now, and no matter what they can’t take that away, and we are going to keep working.  I don’t expect us to lay down at all. I feel like now more than ever we need to go head on and go after it.”

Xfinity practice report from Atlanta

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Christopher Bell posted the fastest lap in the first of two Xfinity practice sessions Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Bell posted a lap of 178.447 mph. He was followed by Joey Logano (177.323 mph), Cole Custer (175.933), Ryan Reed (175.688) and Kevin Harvick (175.487). Daytona winner Tyler Reddick (175.388) was sixth on the speed chart.

There were no incidents in the session.

Final Xfinity practice will be from 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET

Click here for practice 1 report