Ryan Newman criticizes NASCAR for Truex penalty: "It's not fair"

Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch hold differing views on the controversial pit road penalty that was assessed to Martin Truex Jr. at Kentucky last weekend, but both can find common ground on one thing -- Inconsistency in calls.

Ryan Newman criticizes NASCAR for Truex penalty: "It's not fair"
Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
NASCAR Official
Pit road action
NASCAR official
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Monitors convey information from pit road to NASCAR officials
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

The Richard Childress Racing driver felt that NASCAR went too far when they took Truex out of the race lead and sent him to the rear of the field, derailing a potential victory. 

The crime? Truex sped up between the timing lines on the approach to his pit box, passing Kevin Harvick to the inside. According to NASCAR, that's not legal. But according to Newman, they decided to make an example out of the No. 78.

Newman criticizes NASCAR officials

"I saw the video and I’m aware of the judgement call that they made. I think all the drivers, all the crew chiefs, all the team owners will be looking for some kind of answer. I thought that the response was a little bit jaded with respect to we needed to set an example.

"My perspective is there is a rule and we either stick to that rule or we don’t stick to that rule. We don’t just decide to make an example out of somebody on a given lap at a given race. It’s just not right. It’s not fair.”

The veteran racer would like a clarification from NASCAR officials, stating that their response to Truex contradicts what he's been told in the past.

“That’s the understanding we’re under. I have gone to the officials after the driver’s meetings and asked if it’s okay to accelerate to pass somebody going into your pit box and they assured me that it was. And if Martin was not speeding, then there was absolutely nothing wrong, from my perspective, with what he did. Although I know that in the video and in the rule book, it says you are supposed to stay single file and not pass anybody on pit lane unless it is to the right.”

Busch doesn't fault NASCAR for decision

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch also weighed in on the issue, offering his own perspective.

“I have not really seen the video of it. I watched it live and while I watched I was like, ‘Alright, if you don’t get busted for that then that’s interesting.’ I certainly have seen those moves being made before on pit road with other cars. I specifically remember it was Jimmie Johnson at Atlanta – maybe it was earlier this year or last year – that made a couple passes to the left side before getting into his box and slowing down and nothing was ever called. That’s why I think more and more guys have gone into that and have been trying to do that. We play the timing lines way too much and so that was just something that was out there for him (Martin Truex Jr.) to play with and try and he did and they busted him for it."

But both drivers can agree that there needs to be more consistency from the powers that be. After citing the Atlanta race where Jimmie Johnson was penalized, Busch later added an incident from a few years ago where he himself got called for passing on the right, which he says is allowed.

"I passed (Tony Stewart) on the right side before he pulled off to turn into his pit box and they posted me for passing to the right which is legal. So, you know, what exactly the pit road rules are ... I guess we may need to have a little bit of a clarification exactly on what all is going down. I’ve just not been that aggressive on pit road ever since I got called and I’ve not been busted on any of those since.”

However, the rule actually states that you can't even pass to the right side unless that car is turning into their stall.

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