NASCAR Notes - Car owner Ganassi blasts NASCAR for inconsistencies

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2004

TALLADEGA, Ala. NASCAR's practice of enforcing some rules and not enforcing others and issuing varying degrees of penalties for the same violations sent one prominent car owner into a rage this week.

Chip Ganassi, who owns Dodges driven by Sterling Marlin, Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray, had a profanity-laced response to NASCAR's decision to penalize McMurray's team 25 points in the Nextel Cup Series standings after his car failed inspection last month at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

NASCAR found the trunk area on McMurray's car to be offset from the rest of the car. The trunk was skewed to the right, presumably to help the rear spoiler create more downforce on the rear tires.

What sent Ganassi into a rage was the fact Tony Stewart's car failed the same inspection a year ago at the Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR cut away the parts that failed inspection and returned it to the team without any further sanctions.

"You have got to be consistent in this sport," Ganassi said.

The charges come as the Nextel Cup Series prepares for Sunday's Aaron's 499. A year ago Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race with a winning pass below the yellow "out of bounds" line in the third turn. Other drivers who have ducked below the yellow line have been hit with stop-and-go penalties on pit road.

"We are in the middle of a championship battle with an even greater priority this season with the 26-race deal and we lose points for the same violation as someone else and they don't lose points," Ganassi said.

TEXAS TWO-STEP: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram cited several sources involved with the lawsuit between a shareholder of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and NASCAR that confirm the Texas Motor Speedway will get a second race.

The newspaper also said the North Carolina Speedway would lose its only race and the Darlington Speedway would lose one of its two annual dates as NASCAR juggles its 2005 lineup.

Instead of moving to the North Carolina Speedway the week after the season-opening Daytona 500, NASCAR will jump across the country to the Phoenix International Raceway.

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