Sound Off: “12.4A Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing”

“The dreaded and universally used NASCAR rule violation aka “Section 12.4A – Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing”.

What is it really?

12.4A: General Scope of Penalties
Any member who performs an act or participates in actions deemed by NASCAR Officials as detrimental to stock car racing or to NASCAR: a fine, and/or disqualification, and/or loss of Championship points, and/or loss of finishing position(s) in the Event, and/or probation, and/or suspension.

Jeff Gutowski
Jeff: Actions detrimental to stock car racing is just way too broad to be a rule. I understand that it is hard to make up rules when technology changes so fast and you are trying to keep the sport competitive but every time somebody gets caught doing anything it’s always actions detrimental to stack car racing.

The average fan can’t even get a copy of the NASCAR rulebook. The only people allowed to have a rule book are the NASCAR teams. This is the only sport that I know of where they don’t want anyone on the outside to know the rules.

Next, everyone who is penalized under this rule is given a different penalty and it isn’t explained very well to the fans. An infraction that looks similar to the fan that has occurred to two different teams is penalized differently and there isn’t much of an explanation given.

I agree that we have to keep the sport competitive but, I would also like to have a better explanation given to me. The fans are the ones who pay their hard earned money to keep the seats full and the sponsors coming. Don’t we deserve to know what is really happening in the garage?

James Jones

James: Have you ever been pulled over by “one of those” cops? You know, the ones who seem to have something to prove. I can see them now with the brass wire framed sunglasses and mirrored lenses. Perhaps they’re sporting that 70’s porn star style mustache, a shirt seemingly unbuttoned 2-3 buttons too far, and a black leather jacket on despite the 96 degree temps of an June afternoon.

He snaps, License and registration!” and all you can think is, Oh my God, I just got pulled over for speeding on Old Folks Row by the Village People’s cop!.” You try the best you can to keep from laughing out loud, but you fail. That’s when “Officer Willis” just starts tacking on any and every citation and rule infraction that he can think of to your speeding ticket to show you just how bad you’ve really been.

In NASCAR we have the something very similar, “section 12.4A.” A driver or team may in fact do something wrong, but penalizing them for that alone isn’t enough. No, they’ll tack on the trusty section 12.4A for good measure. I mean honestly, half of the so called “detrimental actions” are in fact the ones that keep the fans excited and interested in the sport! Kyle Busch, buddy on a scale of 1-10 you are 12.4A! Good job!

Mike Maruska
Mike: Ah yes, section 12.4A. It’s like a parent’s blanket answer for breaking a rule. What kid didn’t hate it when their parents would use “Just because” as a reason why they were wrong?

The rule is frustrating because it’s so vague. I’ve seen it used for both inspection violations and conduct issues. Which is it? Sometimes I think the NASCAR body is guilty of violating their own rule. Tell me Pocono races aren’t detrimental to Stock Car Racing.

James: Mike, you’re spot on about Pocono races! You took the words right out of my mouth. As a matter of fact I just quickly put together a short list off the top of my head. These are actions that should be categorized as “Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing.” Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Restarting a rain delayed race after midnight.
  2. A Champions Provisional.
  3. Giving two race dates each to Pocono and California.
  4. Claiming there is a NASCAR rule book (written in ink).
  5. Race analysts dressed up in costumes doing pre-race shows and silly skits.
  6. Race fans spectators throwing beer cans.
  7. Timely debris cautions for silly stuff like a foam can koozie down on the apron.
  8. Having Alan Bestwick work in the pits instead of the broadcast booth.
  9. Clogging up the television screen with so many scrolling tickers, sponsor logos, and animated graphics that the viewer is left with the equivalent of a 20″ viewing area of the actual race action.
  10. “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity