Justin Haley’s Remarkable Performance With Rick Ware Racing Nullified by Not-So-Random NASCAR

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Justin Haley’s Sunday went from being fantastic to disappointing in a matter of a few hours after the Cup Series race at the Circuit of the Americas. The Rick Ware Racing star finished P17 in the event, which was a brilliant result for the team, but NASCAR ended up disqualifying him as his car was lighter than required as per their rules. NASCAR said that they had chosen the #51 car to take to their R&D Center, but according to the spotters on the Door Bumper Clear podcast, that might have not been the case.
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Brett Griffin was the first to speak on the matter in a recent episode of the podcast where he alleged that NASCAR choosing Justin Haley’s car to take to the R&D Center might not have been that random. Rick Ware Racing is not one of the strongest teams in the Cup Series and they usually run outside of the top 20. They would have even finished in the top 15, had the team re-fuelled the #51 car properly. As far as Griffin is concerned, that might have raised some eyebrows at NASCAR.
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“Well let’s start with this part first. Random is not random. What are the odds that they spin a wheel, 5 through 40 and it lands on Justin Haley’s number who, oh, by the way, had the best race going in Rick Ware Racing history,” he said. “Less than a 10-pound dumbbell light. So do I think that’s an advantage? Yes, I do, I truly do. Do I think that it makes an average running position of 14th by Justin Haley and Rick Ware Racing versus what they normally run out there which would be in the 30s possible? No, I don’t think 8 pounds does that for you.”
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Griffin’s co-host, Freddie Kraft, on the other hand, believes that the selection was indeed done at random and while Justin Haley’s penalty was unfortunate, he should have run better in the race.
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Before being disqualified, the driver of the #51 car put in a great run and finished P17. However, he could have finished a lot higher up. Justin Haley was running in the top 15 before his team did not fill his fuel tank up properly on their final pit stop. Had that been the case, Rick Ware Racing could have been looking at a finish in the top 10, which would have been epic.
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“Justin probably should have ran better. I’ve seen where he said, and I’m picking on them because they are doing a phenomenal job this year. But they still have to clean up small issues because they didn’t get the car full on the last pitstop so Justin…he was running 10th or 12th and he couldn’t attack that last run because he had to save fuel to get to the end of the race. So instead of being able to attack and probably he could have easily protected his position of 10th, 12th wherever he was and how he’s falling back into the clutches…now he gets unfortunately disqualified, ” Freddie Kraft said.
However, the spotter appreciated Justin Haley and even mentioned how he’s an underrarted driver. “It sucks for them guys but Justin, at this point he’s gotta be considered as one of the most underrated drivers out there because you saw what he did last week. He’s doing a great job in that #51 car,” he shared.
via Getty DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 28: Justin Haley, driver of the #77 FOE Chevrolet, participates in pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on August 28, 2021 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
What is your opinion on the matter? Was Justin Haley’s penalty warranted or did NASCAR go a bit too far in this instance? Let us know your thoughts.
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