NASCAR parks Johnny Sauter after retaliatory wreck of Austin Hill

1 Comment

NASCAR parked Johnny Sauter in Sunday’s M&Ms 200 Gander Outdoors Truck Series after he retaliated and slammed Austin Hill into the wall at Iowa Speedway.

Hill got into the rear of Sauter’s truck on Lap 137, causing Sauter to back into the outside wall.

Sauter got his truck going and hunted down Hill under caution, slamming Hill’s truck in the rear and pushing it into the wall on Lap 139.

NASCAR officials immediately ordered Sauter to park his truck in the garage, which he did. Hill’s truck suffered moderate damage but continued. Sauter and Hill were ordered to the NASCAR hauler after the race.

Click here for the updated race results.

Click here for the updated point standings.

Whether Sauter will be penalized remains to be seen. NASCAR issued this statement: “Per normal procedures, any penalties that may result will be announced early in the week.”

Sauter had no comment after exiting the infield care center. Sauter talked to reporters after exiting the NASCAR hauler after the race.

Hill finished 13th. He spoke with FS1 after the race:

“We were racing hard, getting into Turn 1, he got into me a little bit and I kind of returned the favor. I don’t race like that, but if you’re going to race me like that and try to take me out — I guess he was mad from Texas last week, I don’t know — but I’m not going to put up with it.

“I try to race everybody clean, but when they race you like that, I don’t put up with it. … We’ll just move on. I have better things to worry about than (Sauter). I’m more focused on the championship. … If he wants to come talk to me, he can, but they won’t be nice words.”

Here’s the full interview from Hill:

Later, Hill had this to say:

“I guess he’s mad about the Texas ordeal. He held me really tight down in Texas and I don’t know what he expects. The guy on the inside is always going to get loose when you hold somebody that tight. I got loose up under him and got into him in Texas and we never really talked about it. I don’t have his number or anything.

“When I saw him at the track he kind of snubbed me, well today, or yesterday rather. So I said, ‘Okay, if that’s how he wants to race, let’s race that way.’ I was racing everyone as clean as I could all day long and I guess he was mad that he couldn’t get by me.

“Drove down into turn one and he tried to wreck me then. I don’t like racing like that. If they’re going to try to wreck you like that, I’m going to retaliate. I don’t care if it was more than what he gave me, it’s racing. You want to get into me, I’ll show you that I won’t put up with it.”

Section 10.10.a of the Truck Rule Book explains Parking:

A NASCAR Supervisory Official may direct a Competitor to cease Competition, to leave the racing premises, or to bring the vehicle to the pit road and/or garage area for a specified number of lap(s) and/or a specified time penalty, for the balance of Practice, Qualifying, Qualifying Race, Race, or future NASCAR Races, if it is necessary to do so to promote the orderly conduct of the NASCAR Event(s). Such a directive will be given only in extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the NASCAR Supervisory Official(s). It will not be deemed or construed to be a disqualification, suspension or other “penalty” within the meaning of Section 12 Violations and Disciplinary Action and is not appealable under that Section.

As to what NASCAR could do to Sauter, section 12.8.1.c of the Rule book notes:

Member actions that could result in a loss of 25-50 driver and Team Owner Points and/or $12,500-$25,000 fine and/or one Race suspension, indefinite suspension, or termination:

  • Physical confrontation with a NASCAR Official, media members, fans, etc.
  • Member-to-Member confrontation(s) with physical violence and other violent manifestations such as significant threat(s) and/or abuse and/or endangerment.
  • Attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Race or championship.
  • Intentionally wrecking another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR Awards: Scene on the red carpet

1 Comment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The NASCAR community gathered at the Music City Center to commemorate the 2022 season and celebrate Joey Logano‘s second Cup title.

The event can be seen at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Peacock.

Here is a look at the scene on the red carpet before Thursday night’s NASCAR Awards:

Joey Logano and Brittany Logano (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Ryan Blaney and Gianna Tulio (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Kyle and Samantha Busch (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Chase Elliott (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Alex Bowman and Crystal Marsh (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Tyler Reddick and Alexa De Leon (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Denny Hamlin and Jordan Fish (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Daniel Suarez and Julia Piquet (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Chase Briscoe and Marissa Briscoe (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Christopher Bell and Morgan Bell (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Austin Dillon and Whitney Dillon (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Kyle Larson (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

William Byron and Erin Blaney (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Kevin Harvick (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Ross Chastain and Erika Turner (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Austin Cindric (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Kurt Busch (Photo: Dustin Long)

 

Harrison Burton and Jenna Petty(Photo: Dustin Long)
Mario Andretti (Photo: Dustin Long)

Chase Elliott wins NMPA Most Popular Driver Award

0 Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chase Elliott won his fifth consecutive NMPA Most Popular Driver Award on Thursday.

The announcement was made during the NASCAR Awards at the Music City Center. The show will air at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on Peacock.

Elliott is one of only five drivers to win the award since 1984.

Bill Elliott won it from 1984-88, 1991-2000 and 2002. Dale Earnhardt won the award posthumously in 2001. Darrell Waltrip won it in 1989-90. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won it from 2003-17. Chase Elliott has won it every year since.

Noah Gragson was voted as the Most Popular Driver in the Xfinity Series. Hailie Deegan was voted as the Most Popular Driver in the Camping World Truck Series.

Kevin Harvick to make decision on future by Daytona in February

0 Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Cup champion Kevin Harvick says he’ll know by Daytona in February his plans beyond 2023.

Harvick’s contract with Stewart-Haas Racing ends after the upcoming season. 

Harvick said Thursday before the NASCAR Awards that “it could go either way at this particular point” on what he’ll do, but he affirmed that “going into Daytona, I’ll know what I’m going to do.”

The Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 19. Harvick anticipates making an announcement by then.

“We’re at a point where everybody needs to know what’s going on,” Harvick said. “There’s too many tentacles to everything that happens. Whether it’s the race team, driver management company, every element needs to know. It’s not fair to anybody to have to start the season not knowing.”

Harvick turns 47 on Dec. 8. Next season will be his 23rd in Cup. His debut came a week after Dale Earnhardt’s fatal crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. Harvick was selected by car owner Richard Childress to drive for Earnhardt’s team. 

Harvick has gone to win the 2014 Cup championship and 60 races at Richard Childress Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing. He’s tied with Kyle Busch for ninth on the all-time Cup wins list.

Harvick won two races last season. His victory last August at Michigan snapped a 65-race winless streak. He followed that by winning the next weekend at Richmond. 

Harvick has won at least two races in nine of the past 10 seasons. He has scored 41 of his 60 Cup wins since he turned 37 years old.

“Kevin, I think, is probably the No. 1 leader of the drivers, as he should be,” two-time Cup champion Joey Logano said Thursday. “He’s been around the longest. He’s very accomplished. He’s very smart. He’s been through the ups and downs. He’s lived it. There’s wisdom in experience. It’s great to hear his opinion on where we are as a sport.”

Harvick’s business interests include a management company that represents Cup drivers Ryan Preece, Harrison Burton and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., along with other athletes. Harvick also has worked as a broadcaster on NASCAR Xfinity races for Fox Sports, earning positive reviews. 

Harvick’s son Keelan, who is 10 years old, races and has competed in karting in Europe. 

“He’s got one more race in Italy … and then we’ll start all over again,” Harvick said of his son.

Harvick went overseas after the season finale at Phoenix to watch Keelan race.

“I think he’s definitely matured a little bit since he’s been making these trips,” Harvick said. “I think it’s important to have that culturing aspect of life to be comfortable to do things like that anywhere in the world.”

The NASCAR Awards program airs at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 3 on Peacock. To sign up for Peacock, go here.

BJ McLeod, Live Fast team move to Chevrolet

0 Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Driver/owner BJ McLeod and Live Fast Motorsports will race in Chevrolets beginning with the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Live Fast has been a Ford team.

MORE: Where are they now? Scott Riggs races with son, Layne

Live Fast is owned by McLeod, Matt Tifft and Joe Falk. Jessica McLeod, BJ’s wife, is the team’s chief operating officer.

“Our team is excited to make this transition to Chevrolet,” BJ McLeod said in a statement released by the team. “Chevrolet Camaros have proven great success on the track, and Live Fast Motorsports is looking forward to becoming a part of this advance.”

MORE: Power Rankings: Memorable quotes through the years

The team will use ECR engines.

McLeod had one top-10 finish in 29 starts in the Cup Series last season.