Question of the Day: Should NASCAR owners be held to a higher standard than drivers?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the topic in light of last weekend's reported incident between longtime NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and driver Kyle Busch. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to weigh in with a comment of your own.
Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times
Of course not, if we’re talking about decking someone in the garage or otherwise causing harm (or potential harm). Owners, drivers, crew members, Brian France, Mike Helton -– they should all be held to the same standard.
Did you notice how Helton, NASCAR’s president, described Kyle Busch when Helton took up the matter with the media last weekend at Kansas Speedway? He referred to Busch as “another NASCAR member.” One sports community, one standard.
You can debate the different penalties levied on different drivers –- and now, an owner -– all you want, and in fact some are already carping that Richard Childress should have been suspended. But the same complaint repeatedly has been lodged in the past against drivers and teams that broke the rules. So in that way, too, Childress is no different.
NASCAR fined owner Richard Childress 150 large Monday for his Saturday-night noogie of bad-guy driver Kyle Busch. Shortly thereafter, Childress raided petty cash and all parties commenced to cackling.
What better way to gin up the sport’s sagging popularity than with a good, old-fashioned fistfight? Especially when the instigator was a 65-year-old and his target is less than half his age (26). Childress’ only mistake was channeling his inner hockey player away from cameras. Talk about a YouTube hit!
Childress reportedly was/is torqued at Busch for tapping Childress driver Joey Coulter’s truck on a cool-down lap. Or maybe he just decided to do what NASCAR lacked the onions to do: discipline Busch for his moronic stunt of driving 128 mph in a 45 zone near Charlotte last month.
Photo: Team owner Richard Childress walks away from the NASCAR hauler after speaking to officials before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, the day after he reportedly had an altercation with Kyle Busch after a truck race. Credit: John Harrelson / Getty Images for NASCAR