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Drama and penalties seem to be the theme of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. The Phoenix Raceway was the perfect example of it. Hendrick Motorsports were slapped with a combined fee of $400,000 after being found guilty of modifying the hood louvers. However, they appealed against the fine imposed and it controversially turned out positive for them. Obviously, this wasn’t going to bode well with plenty. Recently, one of the Cup Series drivers vented his frustration with this outcome.

The whole concept of the Next Gen car was to make the competition a level playing field with a single source supplier. However, this HMS incident changes things drastically. In light of this appeal, one of NASCAR’s most improved drivers is left quite fuming.

Experienced NASCAR driver questions the governing body’s approach amid Hendrick Motorsports’ overturned appeal

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NASCAR recently amended the L2 level penalties issued to Hendrick Motorsports after the Cup Series giants appealed against it. This saw them restoring 100 owner points and 10 playoff points that were earlier deducted. However, the four-race suspensions imposed on the team’s four crew chiefs and the hefty fine of $100,000 on each of their teams remained intact.

This left Corey LaJoie highly disappointed by this outcome. Speaking on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, he said, “The entire point of this car is to not mess, to not mess with it, not mess with the parts that you are given, to not like knock the edges off, to get a couple counts of downforce, to knock some drag force out.

USA Today via Reuters

LaJoie explained how the concept of Next Gen cars is critical, especially in helping the lesser-strong teams to compete. He said, “Because the intention with the car was so that a Spire Motorsports [car] on its best day could compete with a Hendrick Motorsports [car] on an average day.

“Because the way it was, a Spire Motorsports [car] on its best day couldn’t run 20th against a Hendrick Motorsports [car] bad day because the R&D, the amount of people, the amount of proprietary information you can never get.” 

The 31-year-old left no stone unturned in expressing his disappointment toward NASCAR. He said, “So if the opportunity is there to run a part that’s tampered with for a competitive advantage and then you just pay a fine that was less than what probably a third of the winnings is from any given week and there’s no backend points penalties for that, it sets for a bad precedent for NASCAR what was trying to accomplish with this Nextgen car.

He stressed how imposing monetary fines on a giant like HMS does not make a difference. He said, “That’s why if it arrives in a box from Spire Motorsports, my guys will only take the stickers off the body panels. They are so scared to like mess around with it. That’s the difference of a team that can peel off a $400,000 cheque and say thanks here’s our parts, here’s the better and you caught us. But they built a good case and they got the points back.”

READ MORE – “He Stuck His Foot in His Mouth” – Corey LaJoie Warns ‘Clumsy’ Denny Hamlin Amid $50,000 Fiasco

Clearly, the #7 driver had every right to be upset with this outcome. Moreover, even fans echoed the same thing.

Fans voice in support of Corey LaJoie as he rants about NASCAR’s failure

There is a lot of displeasure coming from fans after Hendrick Motorsports’ penalty got rescinded. While Corey LaJoie was very clear with his words, he would be glad to know that even the fans share the same opinion.

Following LaJoie’s rant, NASCAR fans came out in backing his claim. Some even went on to stress how rules don’t always apply when it comes to HMS.

“The rules no longer apply to HMS, they have the most poplular driver and are funding Garage 56. It is all about money and a brand.”

“Rules don’t apply the same to everyone….Hendrick has been NASCAR’S golden child for years”

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“HMS getting preferential treatment is pretty sad. Follow the money trail, i bet it’ll be interesting.”
“Agree with you”

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“There needs to be more public transparency with these penalties and appeals. No one except those in that room actually knows what happened or why the points penalties were rescinded. Everything we read or hear is all conjecture and plausibility at this point.”
Obviously, this penalty turnaround has made many unhappy. The question is, what does this mean for future violations? Are monetary fines enough to penalize teams, or should NASCAR make a statement by prioritizing deducting points? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.