The driver code has changed and we see the updated product
Week in and week out, NASCAR drivers are pushed onto the circuits and expected to get along. This is of course a difficult task.
There used to be an unwritten driver code. They lived by the code or they got the chrome horn until they changed.
Drivers used to respect each other. They all followed the code. But a new era of racers has entered the ring and that code is gone. It’s take, take, take all the time.
Recently, Denny Hamlin, a driver who came into the sport in an era of strict driver’s code, sent a message to Ross Chastain. He was using his car when he rammed Chastain into the wall on the final laps at Phoenix Raceway.
Denny Hamlin vs. Ross Chastain: Phoenix Raceway (Video)
The move should send a message. Yes, the two drivers had a lot of encounters last season. However, Hamlin noted that this incident was in retaliation for an incident at the 2023 Clash.
After the race, Chastain and Hamlin had a long chat. According to Hamlin, it opened with Chastain saying, “I think I deserve it.” Hamlin replied, “Yeah, I think so.”
Denny Hamlin Admits Ross Chastain Retaliation in Phoenix (Video)
NASCAR initially ignored the situation, calling it a racing incident. However, the day after the race, Hamlin used his Actions Detrimental podcast to detail why he did what he did.
NASCAR heard the podcast and adjusted its stance. They gave Hamlin a 25-point penalty and fined him $50,000, noting that “actions are detrimental to stock car racing.”
NASCAR fines $550,000 after Phoenix Raceway
There used to be a way for drivers to settle the bill and send a message if the code wasn’t followed. Now it’s an era of NASCAR that has no code and etiquette…
Kyle Busch comments on NASCAR etiquette
“If you intentionally run over someone because they hit you or because you didn’t like something, you’re going to get punched in the face afterwards,” Kyle Busch told reporters at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“We’ve lost all respect in the garage area, between the drivers, at all.”
“There lies the problem. Nobody cares about anyone else. It’s a problem where everyone takes advantage of everyone else as much as possible.”
“We’re all selfish, admittedly. But there was an etiquette that once lived here. To mark [Martin] I think Tony started it [Stewart] really lived from it. i think jeff [Gordon] lived off it, Bobby Labonte. you know rusty [Wallace], primarily. Dale Jarrett, definitely.”
Kyle Busch concluded: “It existed. That’s gone.”
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Send riders backwards for turns?
“He already knows he can’t run over anyone because he’s being sent to the back,” Busch said of his son Brexton’s races.
“It’s different, there are no consequences for running over someone. If we want to do that, they’ll send you to the back, hold a lap, something like that.”
“It’s my fault. I’ve shot someone for the lead or for the win before. Accident, race.”
“But when it happens, you’re sent to the back. There are currently no consequences for this. That’s how the children learn when they grow up, maybe we have to implement that here.”
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Kyle Bush | Denny Hamlin | Ross Chastain | Phoenix Racetrack | NASCAR