Leaving a stock car during a NASCAR race before it’s approved has stiff penalties. Trevor Bayne and Jennifer Jo Cobb both found that out on Tuesday after both drivers exited their vehicles in Dover. Kevin Harvick also received a penalty similar to the one Jimmie Johnson was issued in Charlotte.
Cobb and Bayne exited their cars prior to the arrival of safety workers in the Camping World Trucks Series and Sprint Cup races at Dover, respectively. On Tuesday, NASCAR handed down penalties for both with Cobb receiving a $5,000 fine and put on probation while Bayne was given a $20,000 fine along with probation. both probation penalties are for the rest of the year.
The rule from NASCAR was put into place last season following Kevin Ward’s death. Ward, 20, was killed when he was struck by Tony Stewart after exiting his car and walking onto the hot track. Less than a year since the wreck occurred last August, NASCAR made a statement that it will not stand for drivers disobeying the rule.
“Certainly what you saw with Trevor and with Jennifer Jo — both drivers were called to the hauler and we’ll look at both of those incidents, like we always do, Tuesday, but for us it’s a safety issue,” Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer for NASCAR told NASCAR.com on Monday. “We want to keep the race track as safe as possible for the competitors.”
Meanwhile, Harvick’s No. 4 team received a warning at Charlotte for having to go through pre-race inspection more than three times. He also failed an opening day inspection at Dover for an exhaust pipe and will receive the final choice for pit stalls in Pocono this coming weekend.
While the penalties hurt Bayne and Roush-Fenway Racing, Cobb and her team take a huge hit. The Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing team currently fields just Cobb’s No. 10 truck and, as a single-truck team, could struggle to come up with the funds to pay the fine and continue racing at the CWTS level.
After the penalties handed down on Tuesday, one thing is for sure—drivers will think twice in the future before stepping onto a hot track. Regardless of the situation, the untenable action will not be tolerated in NASCAR events.
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