Dale Earnhardt Jr. colorfully reacts to record MWR penalties



NASCAR levied $300,000 in fines against the Michael Waltrip Racing – the largest total in the sport’s history. It also deducted 50 points each from Bryan Vickers, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer.

“I read the fines and penalites and then I looked at the points, and I was like ‘what the hell?’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in Chicago at NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Media Day this afternoon.

They also docked Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Bryan Vickers 50 points, costing Truex his spot in the Chase, and allowing Ryan Newman in.

The docking of points dropped Bowyer from second to seventh.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. is just as popular, actually more so, than Jimmie Johnson. However, unlike JJ, who’s almost always a boring, cliche soundbite, Junior talks to the media with candor. He was his usual candid self today. Earlier, he said that this kind of manipulation races was really quite common. He even mentioned a couple ways that it’s done.

Most of the questions to Dale Earnardt Jr. were about Saturday night and Clint Bowyer’s “accidental” spin out.There was some chicanery here surrounding all this, and it’s been topic one in the auto racing world all week.

“I think there’s a million things you could have differently and I don’t know if they (NASCAR) did the right thing. You got to sit back and think about why they made the decisions they made (on MWR Racing) and how the penalties affect certain drivers, and see what their logic is. And I don’t think I’ve gone through that process. I got to sit down and think of why they choose to do it, they way they did it,” Earnhardt said.

In 2001, Michael Waltrip won the Daytona 500, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second. That was also the tragic race which sadly took the life of Dale Earnhardt Sr on the final lap. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was also former teammates with Martin Truex Jr. at DEI (Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Senior’s company)

Back to Junior’s take on the MWR ruling:

“I feel bad for Martin, he probably had no idea what was going on, and you feel bad for Jeff because he worked his way to get into a position, and I feel bad for Clint, I know Clint and know what kind of person he is.”

“I think if you do it (manipulating races) again, you’re asking for it. I think they actually got off easy, as far as the fines and penalties. Especially Clint, he’s relatively unaffected. I think if you did it again, then you’re really going to be asking for trouble,” Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup opener is at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet on Sunday, Sept. 15 (1 p.m. CDT, ESPN).

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan, he also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook.

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  1. One can only imagine what would have happened if Jr was knocked out of the chase by a bunch of drivers conspiring to fix a race to get one of their team mates in the chase and knock Jr out! You could hear the screaming and howling for ever. NASCAR would be on that like bugs on stink! It’s simple–Gordon had driven his way into the chase and would be there today if several drivers had not fixed the outcome and NASCAR had acted honestly and with integrity. To their everlasting shame NASCAR chose to look the other way. Helman should be banned from any further NASCAR employment for life! He is a liar and destroys any credibility NASCAR may have had left!

  2. Everyone is so caught up in the Bowyer deal that they have forgotten about Edwards getting away again with jumping the restart..He should have been blackflagged and the race started over again..This is not the first time he has done this and gotten away with it.

  3. Ted and Ray, Gordon just got in. Announcement just made. Brian France stepped in.

  4. everybody watching football anyway. nascar needs some contriversy

  5. All of MWR cars should have been out of the chase and the 99 car should have been black flagged.

  6. Dam Daddy Dale says:

    This (new style) of ‘cheating’ is the product of this stupid chase fomat. NASCRAP had to do ‘Something’ to fix the points system that rightfully rewarded drivers for consistency. First Terry Labonte won a championship with only one win and then Matt Kenseth did it. What a bunch of crap. This past Sunday is the first time in 25 years I didn’t watch or listen to a race. After last weeks BS, I just didn’t care.

  7. If it had been anyone other than a Hendricks driver, do you really think they would have made a” special”spot. How far does this kind of crap have to go on before guys like me, a life long lover of the sport ,finally say OK,I’ll just watch something more credible, like wrestling?

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