When poet Dylan Thomas wrote "Do not go gentle into that good night,",he wasn't thinking of NASCAR. But Dale Earnhardt, Jr. certainly has owned that verse as he heads towards racing retirement.
Never one to be reserved, Earnhardt, Jr. is being especially vocal about many things of late. He's taken a stance on the anthem debate, post-race burnouts, and penalties he sees as arbitrary, inconsistent, or just plain dumb. The latest one - Matt Kenseth's seven-man penalty.
"This is all kind of new territory for everybody. They're being really picky about this, NASCAR, in my opinion, as far as when the red flag comes out and when the race goes back to caution and when guys can start working, not work, how many guys can work," Earnhardt, Jr. said on his weekly podcast Dale Jr. Download and reported by ForTheWin.com.
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Kenseth was fighting to stay alive in the playoffs in Kansas when he was caught up in a multi-car wreck late in the race. NASCAR rules new for 2017 say a car involved in a wreck like that is part of the new damaged vehicle policy. As such, only 6 crew members are allowed to attempt repairs when the car gets into pit road. Kenseth's team had 7.
"You know, when that car comes down pit road and it's got all kinds of stuff wrong with it, there's a pit stall full of people that want to help, that want to jump in," Earnhardt, Jr. said. "Everybody wants to go over there and work on the car. It's hard to get organized in that moment."
The consequence of the mistake meant instant disqualification for Kenseth. Earnhardt, Jr. thinks that, too, is a bit harsh.
"I personally don't like how picky this little rule is. I think that if NASCAR just said, 'Hey, stop. Get this one guy off the car. Now, carry on with your six guys.' ... I think that they should just say, 'Look man, stop.' Or penalize them a lap, whatever."