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NASCAR's final judge: Says 'no' to Carl Long's appeal

   By Mike Mulhern


   SONOMA, Calif.
  NASCAR's big stars arriving in this San Francisco suburb for Sunday's 350 got their first hit of news from Carl Long, whose final appeal to NASCAR over that record-breaking penalty didn't go very far.
   Charles Strang, appointed by NASCAR as the 'national commissioner,' with a role, seldom used, as final arbitrar in penalties, has upheld Long's record $200,000 fine, though cutting his suspension from 12 weeks to eight.
    The penalties, for Long having used an engine .17 of a cubic inch over the 358 c.i. max in a preliminary race to the Sprint Cup All-star race last month, have essentially put Long, a Cup crewman who races occasionally on the side, out of business.
   Fans, outraged at NASCAR's harsh stance on a minor penalty, and at NASCAR hitting so hard at one of the sport's smallest budget guys, have raised more than $16,000 for Long's penalty, mostly in very small $20 donations.
   An official NASCAR release with Strang's comments was not immediate available.
   And as of late Thursday evening, three days after Strang's decision, NASCAR officials had still not reponded to requests for comment on Strang's reasoning.




And they wonder why this

And they wonder why this sport is becoming less and less popular ?

I agree: for a bunch of guys

I agree: for a bunch of guys who are supposed to be thinking 'the customer comes first,' these guys seem oblivious to the world around them. Like Carl says, NASCAR just likes to bully people.

I still don't understand the

I still don't understand the suspension. The fine, though I don't agree with the amount, was going to be substantial for this violation. Michael Waltrip the owner/driver received no such suspension/ban for adding the fuel additive at Daytona a few years ago. He claimed to be unaware of it and made David Hyder the scapegoat, but my bet is he knew more about the fuel additive than Long knew about his engine being out of spec. Furthermore, that did not make Waltrip any less responsible. Has Waltrip's lack of suspension compared to Long's been asked about to NASCAR, Mike?

NASCAR's conduct in the Carl

NASCAR's conduct in the Carl Long situation is simply wrong, IMHO. I don't understand NASCAR's reasoning; I don't agree with NASCAR's decision; I find the entire handling of the situation by NASCAR officials to be inexcusable and arrogant. I think NASCAR should be ashamed of its handling of Carl Long and should give him an immediate pardon and apology. Anyone who has ever questioned NASCAR's justice system as being one for the rich-and-famous and another for the little guys is right on target. I would like to point out here that Jeff Gordon won a qualifying race at Daytona with a car that failed to pass post-race inspection height rules and yet NASCAR executives turned a blind eye to that. NASCAR's actions in the Carl Long situation are simply inexcusable.

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