Premium Motorsports Hit Hard By NASCAR

These days, the financial backing behind NASCAR teams varies on a wide scale.  You have the powerhouses – Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing to name a few.  You have the middle of the road teams – Furniture Row Racing for example.  Then you have the what we will call lower tier.  Those teams that are underfunded, do not have the ability to purchase the same amount of tires each week and house the hundreds of employees that a powerhouse does.  These teams might not even have the ability to bring more than one engine to the track each weekend and even use the same engine for consecutive weeks and has to pinch every penny just to make it to the next race.  These teams do it for the love of the sport and passion to be a part of NASCAR.  This is a team like Premium Motorsports.

However, when misfortunes happen for these lower tier teams, you feel for them and you wonder how they will make it to the next event.  Unfortunately, a bigger misfortune happened after the race this past weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Premium Motorsports other than not having enough tires to last the entire race.

It was announced today, Wednesday, July 3oth, that NASCAR issued a level P3 penalty against Premium Motorsports No. 98 car from a rules infraction this past weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Timmy Hill drove the car at Indianapolis.Photo Courtesy @PremiumMSNASCAR

A P3 penalty can be issued under option including, but not limited to a violation of measurement failure, coil spring violations, unauthorized parts, or parts that fail their intended use.  According to a NASCAR statement, the P3 penalty was issued “for having an unattached weight leave the car during practice July 24th” and fell under Sections 12:1;; 20.3.5 of the NASCAR Rule Book.

Although Timmy Hill did not receive a reprimand, car chief Kevin Eagle was suspended for the race at Pocono Raceway this coming weekend, pending appeal, and he was also placed on probation until December 31st.  In addition, crew chief Scott Eggleston was pending appeal, also suspended for this weekend’s race at Pocono Raceway, fined $25,000 and also placed on probation until December 31st.  Mike Curb, who owns Premium Motorsports, was also penalized 15 championship car owner points.

This is huge for the small team.  Losing both your car chief and crew chief for the same race, pending appeal, leaves nobody with as good of knowledge of the car as either of them to communicate with the driver and the crew during the race weekend.  In addition, Eggleston being fined $25,000 (likely being paid by the team) is $25,000 the team does not have to randomly pay out.  At Indianapolis, Hill finished 41st and made $127,450 for the team.  Take $25,000 out of that, plus expenses over the race weekend and the team is left with little to no profit.  

Is this fair for a team that races week in and week out on passion and the love of the sport?  Maybe some of the powerhouses should consider chipping in on the fine and help out Premium Motorsports.  Just a thought – do you think it will happen?

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