So here is an issue that has been bothering me since the conclusion of the New Hampshire race last fall. As you all remember, Clint Bowyer & his RCR team won the New Hampshire race. Clint's car went through post race inspection and passed. However, NASCAR brought the car back to their R&D centre and tore the car apart and determined it to be illegal. Clint was stripped of 150 points in penalty for using an illegal car, however, NASCAR has a policy in place that ensures that when the fans leave the track, they know who the winner of the race is. Therefore, Clint was allowed to keep credit for the win.
One would then assume, if the fan knows who the winner is when they leave the track after the final race of the year, the fans should also know who the winner of the championship is when they leave Homestead after the final race of the season. What would have happend had it been the 48 car that was randomly selected to go back to the NASCAR R&D centre for a teardown after having passed post race inspection after the Homestead race in which Jimmie Johnson won the championship over Denny Hamlin by only 15 points? What if the 48 car was found to be out of NASCAR's tolerances. Remember, they have a template, and their tolerance to be outside of that template is less than 1/2 the thickness of a quarter. Think of all the movement of a car throughout the duration of a race week. From the time it was last measured in a controlled atmosphere in the garage, to being set down from jacks, wheeled onto the hauler, driven hundreds of miles in the back of a truck, unloaded, turned 600 miles throughout practice and qualifying and the race, bumped into 3 or 4 or more different cars, dropped off the jack etc. I'm just saying, stuff is going to get moved around. 1/2 the thickness of a quarter is not much.
So, Jimmie wins the championship, NASCAR gets his car back to the R&D centre. His car is out of tolerance. So how does NASCAR explain that Jimmie is going to recieve a penatly of 150 points (they have already established the precedent by peanalizing Clint 150 points) which gives Denny Hamlin has 135 point lead on Jimmie in the final standings, but Jimmie gets to be the champion and keep the trophy because the fans need to know who the championship winner is when they leave the track.
The point I am making is, if you are going to inspect cars for being within the tolerances set out by NASCAR post race, all cars should be treated equal. If you are going to take them back to the R&D centre, all 43 cars should be going back to the R&D centre. If you need to take some cars back to the R&D centre, it should only be for exploratory purposes. Any penalties levied against teams should be as a result of what happens at the track. If a team is getting close to their tolerances, bring the equipment to the track to inspect each and every car if that is what needs to be done.
NASCAR has already set the standard for penalties and letting the winner keep the win and trophy, despite points penalties afterwards? I wonder what their explaination will be when it happens in the final race and has an impact on the championship?