Sunday, July 21, 2024

Sheldon Creed docked 25 points for Nashville conduct

It feels like common sense that if you’re going to take out another driver on purpose for any reason, publicly relaying that threat beforehand is not going to please NASCAR.

Unfortunately for Sheldon Creed, telling his team about wanting to wreck Sammy Smith and then delivering on it has costed him. On Tuesday, NASCAR announced Creed has received a 25-point penalty for such an action, dropping him from seventh to eighth in the standings. Specifically, it was deemed a violation of Section 4.4.B of the rulebook that prohibits “attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Race or championship” and “wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.”

The incident occurred during Saturday’s Xfinity Series event at Nashville Superspeedway. Dissatisfied with Smith’s driving, Creed told his #2 Richard Childress Racing team over the radio that Smith “is trying to get wrecked. I’m calm but I mean this nicely, if he holds it on my door on entry like that again, I’m going to slow down and turn right.”

Although his team warned that NASCAR “will bust your ass for that,” Creed carried out his warning anyway on lap 69, moving up in turn two and clipping Smith in the right rear. The contact sent Smith spinning into the outside wall before Creed spun too, the latter being hit by Brandon Jones as he tried to weave between them.

While Creed was able to recover and finish seventeenth, Smith retired in thirty-fourth.

“I thought I gave him plenty of room,” Smith eventually said after the wreck. “He got free and kind of just hooked right.”

The penalty is consistent with an earlier ruling in April, when Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin received the same points deduction after admitting to intentionally forcing Ross Chastain into the wall at Phoenix. Hamlin attempted to appeal but the penalty was upheld.