According to media reports, NASCAR is considering further punishment for hapless Jimmy Watts, the unfortunate sap who made the absolutely dumb-as-a-rock decision to chase a stray tire into the infield grass at Atlanta on Sunday — hey, those cars out there, they sure are moving fast! I wonder what would happen if one of those suckers suddenly, inexplicably lost control and came barreling toward me. Ah, never mind … now, where’d that dang tire go?!?
Obviously, Watts vapor locked, and he said as much almost immediately; for his momentary lapse of brain function, Watts was suspended for the remainder of the race, and crew chief Gil Martin was fined $2,500 as the one ultimately responsible — am I the only one who thinks fining the crew chief in this instance seems a bit extreme?
Anyway, NASCAR might put a further hurt on poor Jimmy. Really? Hasn’t the guy been through enough already? Call me naive or ignorant or even dumb-as-a-rock, but from where I sit, professional and very public humiliation, something I know nothing about, is fairly sobering in its own right. At the very least, it serves to drive a point home pretty effectively, again, not that I’d know anything about that. But on top of that, poor Jimmy’s got to deal with Matt Kenseth — Kenseth! — piling on.
"Maybe he hasn’t seen us drive, but we tend to wreck a lot," Kenseth said (what, Tony Stewart was unavailable for comment?).
Somehow, I think Watts gets the idea. He can’t be doing that again. From where I sit, any further punishment would be a bit like beating on a boxer who’s already been counted out by the ref. Leave the poor guy alone.