Race Weekend Central

Tony Stewart Fined by NASCAR For Criticism of Lug Nut Rule

On the day that Tony Stewart announced he would return to NASCAR, he was fined $35,000 for violating guidelines in the Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.

On Wednesday, at a sponsorship appearance, Stewart criticized NASCAR’s 2015 rule change allowing teams to put less than five lug nuts on tires during pit stops, a change that puts the safety into the team’s hands.

The co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing proposed that NASCAR needs to get control and mandate all five lug nuts or go to the Formula One and IndyCar route that has just one center hub in the middle of the wheel.

“I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt,” Stewart said. “You will not have heard a rant that’s going to be as bad as what’s going to come out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel that hurts one of them.”

According to NASCAR, Stewart violated Section 12.8.1 of the NASCAR rule book. Actions detrimental to this could lead to a fine anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.  This particular instance disparaged the sport and criticized NASCAR’s leadership.

Stewart will return to his No. 14 Chevrolet on Friday in preparation for this weekend’s race in Richmond.

About the author

Dustin joined the Frontstretch team at the beginning of the 2016 season. 2020 marks his sixth full-time season covering the sport that he grew up loving. His dream was to one day be a NASCAR journalist, thus why he attended Ithaca College (Class of 2018) to earn a journalism degree. Since the ripe age of four, he knew he wanted to be a storyteller.

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Tim S.

Way to go, Daytona! Punish one of your biggest remaining stars for daring to have an opinion. Careful, though. At this stage you likely need him just as much as he needs you, if not more so.


Absolutely ridiculous. NASCAR should heed Stewart’s wisdom–not fine him for it.

Bill B

Talk about heavy handed. The worst part is that Stewart is right.

“NASCAR, where truth gets penalized”.


Every time I hear the line “You can’t handle the truth” I think of Brian.


Not a fan of Stewart, never was never will be. But you know what, that does not matter. He is correct 100%, and is really just citing the obvious, no mystery here. God they make it difficult, the powers that be in Daytona.


Same here. I’ve never been one of his biggest fans, but I do like how he’s not afraid to speak his mind. And he’s often right when he does.

R. Banner

So they finally fined someone for hurting Lil’ Brian’s feelings.

Should have figured Stewart would be the first hit with their stupid new rule.


When Stewart talks, people listen.

When Brian talks, people look confused.


Don, so true! I try to never listen to Brainless.


Ah, as always, NASCAR finds another way to make it’s management of the sport look stupid. He’s right, they are wrong, so of course they will fine him.


Brian’s rule for the drivers: “You can think it. Just don’t say it. Especially if you’re right.” Big Brother is listening.

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