NASCAR has fined Tony Stewart $35,000 for his comments regarding the policing of lug nuts and the possibility of safety being compromised.
Stewart’s fine falls under Section 12 of the rule book, specifically member conduct guidelines.
According to Section 12.8.1, actions that could result in a $10,000-$50,000 fine include disparaging the sport and/or NASCAR’s leadership, or verbal abuse of a NASCAR Official, media members, fans, etc.
“We shouldn’t be playing games with safety to win races,” Stewart said yesterday. “It should be out-performing the other teams, not jeopardizing drivers’ lives by teams putting two lug nuts on to try to get two more spots off pit road.”
Stewart’s biggest contention is the possibility of a wheel coming off a car and the safety of drivers, crew members or even fans being compromised.
“I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt,” Stewart said. “You will not have heard a rant that’s going to be as bad as what’s going to come out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel that hurts one of them.
“With all the crap we’re going through with all the safety stuff, and for them to sit there and sit on their hands on this one – this is not a game you play with safety and that’s exactly the way I feel like NASCAR is treating this. This is not the way to do this.”
Stewart announced earlier Thursday that he would return to the No. 14 Chevrolet this weekend at Richmond after missing the first eight races due to injury.