Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stewart vs. Petty profanity

Brad from Shelbyville, Ky.: Why would NASCAR fine Tony Stewart for a bad word? Kyle Petty said a bad work on national TV during the race at Sonoma, Calif. NASCAR did nothing to him. All drivers should be treated equal.

Larry McReynolds: NASCAR is treating all drivers equal. They docked Stewart 25 points just like the took 25 points away from Dale Earnhardt Jr. after his post-race profanity following the 2004 Talladega fall race. We knew that was going to happen. (Editor's note: In addition to the point penalties, which were the same, Stewart was fined $25,000 while Dale Jr. was fined $10,000.)

Kyle Petty did not say something bad on national television; it was a mistake on the network's part. Obviously, the network sat down with NASCAR and explained the whole situation. What you heard was a replay that was run two or three laps after that incident. Unfortunately, someone played the audio with the replay. For that reason, you're comparing an apple to a green bean. A bad word went over the air, but it wasn't live. It was totally a mistake on the network's part.

The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard was on cable, and there are a lot of rules and regulations about cable that I don't understand. But I don't know that the FCC had a problem with it because it was on cable, but NASCAR doesn't care whether it's on over-the-air television or cable. They're just trying to stay as consistent as possible. Points are a moot point right now for Stewart. If he ends up missing the Chase by less than 25 points, we'll realize that it was pretty important. The way the Chase for the Nextel Cup and the bonus points system are structured, Stewart just needs to stay in the top 12. He's safely in there, and he's seeded 3rd because he's got two wins with 20 bonus points.

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