NASCAR sends mixed message with fine of Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart on track during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 22, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia.

Tony Stewart on track during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 22, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia.

NASCAR fined Tony Stewart $35,000 Thursday for violating conduct guidelines highlighted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.  Earlier in the week Stewart had criticized the sanctioning body for net enforcing a rule that requires crewmembers to put all five lug nuts on a wheel during a pit stop. Putting on fewer allows for faster pit stops.

Although no wheels have come off during a race, in several instances drivers  have been forced to pit again with loose wheels. During a media event Wednesday Stewart, who has been vocal about NASCAR in the past, was critical of the practice of NASCAR not enforcing the practice of ensuing all five lug nuts are on the wheel this year.

“I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt,” Stewart told The Charlotte Observer. “And you will not have heard a rant that’s going to be as bad as what comes out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel that hurts one of them.”

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