Danica Patrick Chimes in on NASCAR not Punishing Austin Dillon

NASCAR elected not to punish Austin Dillon for his actions against Cole Custer in last weekend’s XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in which Dillon ran his car into Custer’s under caution as retaliation for contact just minutes prior.

The no penalty decision raised eyebrows as just the day prior, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said that NASCAR wouldn’t allow drivers to use cars as a weapon.

It came after a meeting with Kyle Busch and Joey Logano, who were involved in a post-race brawl on pit road the preceding week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where the former punched the latter in the face, and NASCAR chose not to fine either for their involvement.

The driver most vocal about NASCAR’s ruling was Danica Patrick, saying NASCAR should “Give me my money back.”

Last year, she was hooked into the outside wall by Kasey Kahne and fined for walking onto the apron to show her displeasure to him.

“I also got fined here last year for Kasey Kahne right-rearing me on the front straightaway at 215 miles an hour and I gave him this sign, and I got fined for that, too,” she said.

Patrick was upset about NASCAR’s ambiguous rules, but she was more concerned about fining drivers for actions that “makes for good TV.”

“I think NASCAR makes a really big mistake of fining for some stuff, especially something that happens in the car because it makes for good TV – just like fights and all that stuff,” she said. “We can handle it. I think it’s a mistake. I might be speaking too much, but I’ve been fined a few times and I think that it makes for good TV and I think that we handle it out on the track ourselves.”

Patrick said she’s fine with NASCAR having not fined drivers in the last few weeks, she wishes that they were consistent in that regard and asked where the fine money goes to.

“Yeah, I’d rather that be the standard,” she added. “I mean, what does that really do? I’m not gonna not go on vacation. I would actually rather know what it did. I would actually love to see like the playground that got built for it, or homeless people that got food. I would like to see actually what the money does for fines because it’s supposed to go to charity, right? So what does it really do? I would like to see that.”

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

Tucker White
Tucker White
I've followed NASCAR for well over 20 years of my life, both as a fan and now as a member of the media. As of 2024, I'm on my ninth season as a traveling NASCAR beat writer. For all its flaws and dumb moments, NASCAR at its best produces some of the best action you'll ever see in the sport of auto racing. Case in point: Kyle Larson's threading the needle pass at Darlington Raceway on May 9, 2021. On used-up tires, racing on a worn surface and an aero package that put his car on the razor's edge of control, Larson demonstrated why he's a generational talent. Those are the stories I want to capture and break down. In addition to NASCAR, I also follow IndyCar and Formula 1. As a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, I'm a diehard Tennessee Volunteers fan (especially in regards to Tennessee football). If covering NASCAR doesn't kill me, down the road, watching Tennessee football will. I'm also a diehard fan of the Atlanta Braves, and I lived long enough to see them win a World Series for the first time since 1995 (when I was just a year old). I've also sworn my fan allegiance to the Nashville Predators, though that's not paid out as much as the Braves. Furthermore, as a massive sports dork, I follow the NFL on a weekly basis. Though it's more out of an obligation than genuine passion (for sports dorks, following the NFL is basically an unwritten rule). Outside of sports, I'm a major cinema buff and a weeb. My favorite film is "Blazing Saddles" and my favorite anime is "Black Lagoon."


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