NASCAR Wrong Not to Fine Tony Stewart for His Helmet Throwing Incident

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2012

Tony Stewart has a long history of anger and aggression on the race track. His hot-headed nature got the best of him over the weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway when he threw his helmet at Matt Kenseth after the two crashed earlier in the race. 

If you were watching on television or saw the highlights of the incident, one of your first thoughts, naturally, would be how much money NASCAR is going to fine Stewart for his actions. 

If you had zero as the answer, you are correct. 

NASCAR spokesman David Higdon told Indiana newspaper The Republic that Stewart will not be fined for throwing his helmet. 

"We're definitely not fining Tony. We didn't feel he crossed the line with our new parameters of getting a little more back to the drivers to control their own actions."

If this were some kind of isolated incident from a frustrated driver, you can see NASCAR giving some leeway. 

In Stewart's case, he has a laundry list of incidents on the track. He has been fined for shoving a reporter who snapped a picture and has taken anger management classes to tone down his fiery temper. 

By and large, Stewart is a much better person today than he was five or six years ago. He is starting to get far more recognition for what he does on the track, as opposed to the sideshows he was creating outside of his car. 

Unfortunately, no matter how you want to slice it, Stewart had a serious lapse in judgment. He lost his composure and took it out on Kenseth. 

NASCAR had a chance to send a message to Stewart and the rest of the drivers that these childish actions, which not only hurt the drivers but make the entire sport look foolish, will not be tolerated. 

Instead, NASCAR did the exact opposite. By not fining Stewart, NASCAR is enabling him and other drivers to do whatever they want, when they want. 

How is anyone going to take a fine seriously if Stewart is able to throw his helmet at another driver while still on the track?

NASCAR messed up big time by not punishing Stewart financially for his child-like behavior on the track. The decision-makers are enabling Stewart, because as we know with children, if they do something wrong once with no consequences, they will do it again until a parent intervenes.