The Hot 20 – Get hot in NASCAR and it costs you $25,000, in the NHL it is 2 minutes

A guy grabs you and pushes you around. The universally accepted response is a punch to the other guy’s head. My dad taught me that, and so I taught my sons. It is a simple case of cause and effect, you push to start a confrontation and a punch usually will end it. Personally, I might remember once where I was so involved.

Casey Mears and Marcos Ambrose are not known for it. Neither are Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton, but it happens. Mears got $15,000 for shoving, Ambrose $25,000 for punching, and both got a month’s probation. In hockey, what they did was worthy of a two minute roughing penalty, but “have at it boys” seems to be much more genteel than we once thought. Genteel, as in free from rudeness or vulgarity. My favorite definition, though, is “marked by false delicacy, prudery, or affectation.” This is NASCAR. If what took place after the Richmond race is worthy of $40,000 in fines, Lord knows what a real donnybrook might be worth.

Genteel is something no one has ever accused Juan Pablo Montoya as being. I remember his on-track discussion with Kevin Harvick at Watkins Glen back in 2007. Montoya has a Top Five to show for his first three starts back in IndyCar this season, and NASCAR fans get to see him back in a stock car soon enough. In June, he will drive for Penske at Michigan, and again in July in the Brickyard 400. I sure hope he acts like a gentleman. We would not want any of our sensitivities upset by any form of rudeness.

Do you remember Dale Earnhardt’s last race and his one finger salute to rookie Kurt Busch? I guess the Intimidator was just being welcoming and couldn’t get those other four fingers through the window net.

This is the year where wins mean damn near everything. It seems no one told Jeff Gordon, who remains the steadiest driver thus far in 2014 and he was not picked up a single victory as of yet. Heck, Matt Kenseth does not seem to be hurting as we head to Talladega, even though he also has not shaken the bubbly post-race. Even taking into account our extra 22 point bonus for winning (up to a max of 70 points for a win) both Gordon and Kenseth are doing just fine to remain among our top drivers of the season.

Position – Points -Driver

  1. 341 Jeff Gordon
  2. 336 Joey Logano – 2 WINS
  3. 336 Matt Kenseth
  4. 335 Carl Edwards – 1 WIN
  5. 332 Kyle Busch – 1 WIN
  6. 331 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 1 WIN
  7. 309 Brad Keselowski – 1 WIN
  8. 282 Jimmie Johnson
  9. 272 Ryan Newman
  10. 264 Kevin Harvick – 2 WINS
  11. 256 Greg Biffle
  12. 256 Brian Vickers
  13. 252 Austin Dillon
  14. 251 Kyle Larson
  15. 245 Denny Hamlin
  16. 243 Tony Stewart
  17. 242 Marcos Ambrose
  18. 240 A.J. Allmendinger
  19. 226 Jamie McMurray
  20. 226 Paul Menard

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

Ron Thornton
Ron Thornton
A former radio and television broadcaster, newspaper columnist, Little League baseball coach, Ron Thornton has been following NASCAR on this site since 2004. While his focus may have changed over recent years, he continues to make periodic appearances only when he has something to say. That makes him a rather unique journalist.


  1. A fight in hockey is FIVE minutes, and three fights is automatic ejection. Furthermore, if you start a fight after the 55 minute mark of a hockey game, that’s an automatic ejection.

    • That depends on the league. However, what we witnessed likely would not have been called a fight in most leagues. Instead, 2 minute roughing penalties would have sufficed…unless NASCAR ran that league, too.

  2. France, Pemberton and Helton should take a vacation to Cuba for about 10 years and let some real people run
    NA$CAR. Money is the only thing they can see. They have no more concern for drivers and teams than Clint Bowyer has for talking without profanity.
    Have at it boys. Sure fight just enough that we can get into your wallets.



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