Opinion: NASCAR's new penalty system improves transparency
FEB 12, 2014 11:37a ET
Another one of the major changes going into the 2014 season is the structure of how NASCAR will now handle the penalty process for any infractions. Things seem to be more defined now in this area. I am not sure it makes life easier for crew chiefs, but they definitely understand how the process will be handled now a lot better.
As I said last week when the changes were announced, I applaud NASCAR for continuing to move everything in our sport to where it is as transparent as it can be. While it's great for everyone, I have talked to a lot of fans and they really seem to be the ones overwhelmingly embracing this.
We have millions of fans, and a lot of them are new fans. As they learn about the history of our sport, they also want to learn and understand our sport and how it runs today. I think we need to do all we can to encourage that. They are students of the sport who have a thirst for knowledge about NASCAR.
I mean, let's be honest, under the old system, the penalty process, the penalty severity and even the penalty appeal process was pretty confusing and seemingly inconsistent at times. Granted, we aren't a stick-and-ball sport with clearly defined lines. We never will be. We have a 3,400-pound race car with hundreds and hundreds of working components.
I've seen what NASCAR has done in this area, and it definitely is clearer to everyone how an infraction will be handled from here on out. I think it's a real positive for our sport.