Local NASCAR fans react to penalties

POSTED: 6:26 AM Dec 24 2013   UPDATED: 12:00 AM Sep 11 2013
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BRISTOL, Tenn. -

Monday night NASCAR handed down unprecedented penalties and even changed the drivers involved in the Chase, which is NASCAR's version of playoffs.

The action on the track at Richmond Saturday night carried over into Monday when NASCAR fined Michael Waltrip Racing, suspended its general manager and adjusted points after the team was accused of making moves to help Martin Truex, Jr. make the Chase.

On Tuesday, Kevin Triplett with Bristol Motor Speedway weighed in. "When it crosses that line, that's when it starts getting murky and that's why I believe you saw the huge points penalties, the probation and suspension, the $300,000 fine and things like that," adds Triplett.

Local writer David McGee has penned three books about NASCAR. He says he expected a strong move by NASCAR. "I think it’s a situation where they really had no choice. They had to do something and I think in this case they probably took the right steps," he told us.

Even some local fans say they were skeptical about the moves on the track Saturday and are glad to see NASCAR's decision. "I just am glad NASCAR saw what happened and took the information they had and made the right decision with it," says fan Tony Whitt.

"It's a decision that he made that I'll have to stand behind," adds Andy Hill.

Now driver Ryan Newman is in the Chase and Truex is out. We’re told that that move can cost some money. "Being taken out of the Chase will result in millions of dollars, or at least hundreds of thousands more in penalties, because they're not participating in that year-end playoff, if that's what you want to call it," adds Triplett.

But many experts agree it's a move that had to be made. "I think NASCAR felt like they needed to do something. I felt like they would take some kind of action. Nobody knew until they announced it what they were going to do, but they had to do something," adds McGee.

Now the drivers are headed to Chicago to see what happens next.