Oct 17, 2005
One Fine DayBy JR Nerad
In the Nerad household we have a fine for saying the word “Fine,” which happens to be one of daughters’ favorite responses to our parental requests. Now it seems as if NASCAR’s Nextel Cup is as “fine-happy” as are our girls.
In just one day last week Kevin Harvick’s crew chief, Todd Berrier, was suspended for an additional two races (a decision he is appealing) while three other crew chiefs were fined in the wake of the Talladega race. Michael Waltrip’s crew chief, Tony Gibson, was fined $10,000 (more than we fine our girls) for using unapproved wheel spacers and an air directional device. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s chief, Tony Eury Jr., was fined $2,500 for using unapproved fuel cell foam, and Morgan Shepherd’s chief, Duston Smith was fined the same amount for a similar offense.
It seems to us that Berrier, who was suspended earlier in the year for a fuel filler scam that allowed Harvick’s car to carry more fuel, should refine his cheating techniques to be more like his colleagues. That way he’ll just be fined and not suspended.
While the crew chiefs were making most of the news in the fine department, driver Michael Waltrip almost got in on the act, only to have his fine rescinded. Waltrip was cited for making an “inappropriate” gesture after Robby Gordon threw his helmet at him following a crash between the two drivers in New Hampshire. Waltrip was going to be fined $10,000, docked 25 championship points and have the ignominy of going on probation for the remainder of the season, but a two-judge panel, in what happily was not a split decision, looked at TV footage and decided they couldn’t tell whether Waltrip had made an inappropriate gesture or not.
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