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“Have Them Committed for Psychiatric Assessment” – Fans Agree With NASCAR COO, Accepting the Lack of “Consistency” Highlighted by Divisive Hendrick-Kaulig Verdict

Published 04/07/2023, 11:35 AM EDT

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The drama doesn’t seem to come to an end. The National Motorsports Appeals Panel drastically rescinded the penalty imposed on Hendrick Motorsports last week. The 100-point penalty along with the 10-point playoff penalty for each HMS team was taken away. However, despite facing a similar punishment for the same violation, Kaulig Racing’s penalty was upheld. Obviously, this did not go down well with the fans. However, the recent comments from the NASCAR Chief Operating Officer must pacify them, somewhat.

The NASCAR Cup Series has already seen plenty of theatrics in regard to penalties and cautions this season. Obviously, such controversial decisions from the appeals panel aren’t doing any favor to the governing body. Having said that, the NASCAR COO’s eye-opening statement concerning the recent verdicts brings a breath of fresh air.

Fans side with NASCAR authority as he accepts inconsistency in ruling following the Kaulig Racing fiasco

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The fact that Hendrick Motorsports got away with just a monetary and suspension fine despite having eight hood louvers modified in comparison to Kaulig Racing’s one louver, was enraging for plenty. More importantly, this comes at a time when NASCAR has already struggled to be consistent with its decisions.

This does make one question how the appeal panel functions. And while this looks unfair from a neutral point of view, NASCAR’s Chief Operating Officer Steve O’Donnell had his say. He confirmed on NASCAR Race Hub how the difference in the outcome of HMS and Kaulig Racing has given a bad look to the sport.

He said, “We agree, we can only be consistent with our rulings…” O’Donnell also clarified that as per him, both HMS and Kaulig Racing’s penalty should have been upheld. It is not often that fans agree with NASCAR these days, but in this case, they did.

To the COO statements, some of them, on Reddit, said,

“I agree with Steve here which isn’t something I typically do”
“He isn’t wrong tbh”
“I agree. Whoever was on the Kaulig appeal should never sit on one of those panels again, and I’d even go so far as to have them committed for psychiatric assessment.”
While some did that, few of them made it a point to clear out the misconception that has been doing the rounds lately. In the past few days, it looked like many blamed NASCAR for the appeal verdict when, in actuality, they had no role in it.
“Would just like to clarify that NASCAR and the appeals board are separate entities for anybody who doesn’t know”
“This isn’t their consistency. This is the appeals panel being inconsistent. The penalties given were consistent with each other.”
“NASCAR doesn’t control the appeals board, but they did set up this system that can end in ridiculous situations like this (both giving back the points and the different outcomes for HMS and Kaulig).”
It is also worth noting that the three concerned authorities of the panel keep changing as per the rotation and scheduling of the hearing. Also, no NASCAR executives are present on the panel.
Many questions arise after the Kaulig Racing verdict. In fact, the ruling from the appeal panel not only shocked the fans but also NASCAR, as Steve O’Donnell gave more insight into the incident.

NASCAR left in shock following the appeal panel’s contrasting ruling amid the Kaulig Racing fiasco

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Fans sided with O’Donnell when he demanded more consistency. What he said about the appeal committee after was quite shocking to know.
Speaking on the NASCAR Race Hub, he said, “So we issued a penalty fully expecting that the appeals committee would uphold those penalties. We were shocked at how that one was handled in terms of the appeals committee saying that they agreed with us in terms of something being wrong but just took away the points.
He further clarified the dynamics between NASCAR and the appeal committee before providing some positive news. He said, “The whole philosophy of the next-gen car was this is a culture change in the garage and to do that we needed points as part of any penalty. So you know you’ll see some changes from us as well.

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“We don’t control the appeals committee and the appeals panel but we can certainly make things more transparent more clear. That’s what we’re going to do going forward.

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These words certainly mean a lot. It will be interesting to see how NASCAR backs up its actions with these statements.

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani

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Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR writer at Essentially Sports. Since completing his graduation, he has been pursuing a career in the Media & Entertainment industry. With a zeal to write creative and insightful content, he started his journey as a freelancer in 2018.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh