Tony Stewart is of the opinion that NASCAR’s penalty system can go astray if things are not kept in check.
This season, NASCAR has certainly laid the territory for penalties. They have made it clear that any illegal activity will result in heavy penalties, both financial and points in the series.
The biggest penalty so far went to Stewart’s co-owner Stewart-Haas Racing team. Chase Briscoe and the team were docked 120 regular-season points and 25 playoff points, along with a hefty $250,000 fine. NASCAR has already collected more than $1 million in fines to Cup Series teams this year.
While the penalty system works to bring fairness to the sport, Stewart believes that if not checked, it could lead to people trying to settle scores through penalties.
“They’ve backed themselves in a corner with the greed to the gambling side. They can’t call somebody for a pit road speeding penalty if they didn’t commit the act. They can’t control that… How do you control everybody then if you’ve taken that ability away during the race?… You do it at the R&D Center after the races are over,” Stewart said.
“If somebody’s ruffling your feathers, that’s where they’re going to get you. However, don’t construe every penalty as settling a score…I think it’s important that they do keep aspects of this in check. You can’t lose control of that. If you do, it becomes a free-for-all, and then they’ve lost everything they’ve built over 75 years.”
However, he also said that he supports NASCAR in discouraging teams from doing improper conduct.