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“It Was Sensationalized” Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Take on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s $75,000 Penalty

Gowtham Ramalingam

"It was sensationalized" Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s take on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s $75,000 penalty

NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will be fined $75,000 for picking a physical altercation with Kyle Busch after Sunday’s All-Star race in North Wilkesboro. Two of his crew members have been suspended for several races and his father, who was also involved in the brawl, has been sidelined indefinitely. Similar to most of the racing community, Dale Earnhardt Jr. too believes that this backlash is too severe.

The primary reason why the racing icon thinks that a $75,000 fine is unwarranted is because NASCAR exploited the fight by heavily promoting it on social media and sensationalizing it. Once it did so, there was a pressure to inflict punishment worthy of all the attention and such a huge monetary penalty became inevitable. Dale Jr. contends that had it not been for the promotion’s actions, a $25,000 fine would’ve been a fair fine to impose.

He said on the recent episode of Dale Jr. Download, “It was glamorized and sensationalized because it blew up into this big social media thing and everybody was watching it every time. Like Joey said, you turn on your phone, that’s all you saw. That is how we got to this steep penalty which I think is unfair. I really do. I think that it’s a bit of an overreaction on NASCAR’s part.”

He continued to express that while he did understand NASCAR not wanting drivers fighting with each other every week over nothing and a penalty serving as a tough warning, the number of zeroes on it were not justifiable. From the promotion’s point-of-view however, the penalties were just and well-deserved.

NASCAR defends the severe penalties imposed on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The sporting body’s Senior Vice President of Competition, Elton Sawyer, said upon the penalty announcement that the fines were for violating the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct. He contended that Stenhouse Jr. and his team had 198 laps to think about what their reaction was going to be and yet chose to act in violation of the code. That alone warrants the penalty, according to Sawyer.

His words went, Granted there was no tunnel, granted there was no crossover bridge, but better decisions could have been made throughout that period of time between the incident that happened on the racetrack and the incident that happened in the garage post-race.” Well, there’s no reversing the decision now. The rest of the field will now check its bank balance before deciding to throw a punch.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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