Equal Justice

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I'm not sure why there is such outrage in a portion of NASCAR Nation over the penalty and fines levied against Carl Long.

To recap, Long was found to have an oversized engine after a recent post-race technical inspection and was fined $200,000 along with a twelve race suspension.

An appeal this week was denied and Long will have to serve both punishments.

Yet some believe the ruling was excessive and unfair.

Why?

Just because Long is a small, independent team owner/driver who doesn't have the multi-million dollar resources or sponsorships of a mega team doesn't mean who should have to adhere to the same rulebook.

NASCAR has made it clear that messing with the engine is an absolute no no and there is a long precedent that includes severe justice when there are infractions with the power plant.

To suggest that Long is being made an example of only because he's not considered a big time operator is ludicrous.

These are the same people who insist NASCAR hammered Jeremy Mayfield in the recent substance abuse case only because he's not considered a superstar.

I can be pretty confident in saying that if, and God forbid anyone has to face either of these recent scenarios, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart or any other so-called stars of the sport were involved in either situation the same standards would be upheld.

Rules need to be rules no matter what level and pecking order a team or driver holds. While Long and Mayfield are smaller-level drivers and both have always been considered "good guys," I don't think you can show any leniency simply because of that. It's shame both are in the situations they are but both ran afoul of the rules and regulations set forth by NASCAR.

Dealing with each case on a sliding scale would be the wrong thing to do. Lay out the rules and let every driver and team work within their boundaries. If they don't, then fair and just punishment should be enforced.

You don't get a free pass just because you're a nice guy unfortunately in NASCAR..or in life for that matter.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2009

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