Crowdsourcing To Pay Penalty Fines In Short Track Racing Sets Bad Precedent For The Sport

(The article below is a RaceDayCT column – The views expressed in this column are solely the opinion of the writer)

Andy Seuss (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Would you rob a bank if you knew beforehand that if you got caught someone else would do the prison time for you? 

If a punishment is a deterrent to committing the illegal or prohibited act, and someone takes that punishment for you, is the punishment really a deterrent anymore? 

That’s the question raised when it comes to a penalty from earlier this week levied by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour against driver Andy Seuss. 

During the Whelen Modified Tour Mohegan Sun 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway contact from Austin Beers put Seuss in the turn one wall. 

After the incident Seuss got out of his car on the track. When the field was pacing under caution past the accident scene, Seuss took steps in the direction of Beers’ car coming by on track and flipped Beers off. 

Whelen Modified Tour rules state that after a wreck on track a driver involved: “After being directed to exit the vehicle, the driver must immediately proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR Official” and
“At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle.” 

Seuss was fined $500 and put on probation for the remainder of the year. 

After the penalty and fine were announced, fans on social media began a fundraising effort, encouraging other fans to send Seuss money to pay the fine. 

In a story published on Short Track Scene Wednesday, Seuss confirmed that the $500 had been raised through fan support to pay the fine. 

“And that’s where the amazing racing community comes in. Knowing the car needs repair, and a fine doesn’t help get the car get back to the track any faster, you guys took it upon yourselves to help us out with that,” Seuss told Short Track Scene. “We have hit the $500 mark, which is enough to take care of the fine! It’s amazing to see how many people have our backs at not only the highs of racing, but also lows like this. You guys rock.” 

The question raised by the acceptance of what was raised by such a campaign is now what is the deterrent from repeating the unsafe behavior for someone like Seuss if you know someone else will take the punishment for you? 

If Seuss – or anyone else – is confident beforehand that ultimately they won’t be responsible for the punishment from a rule breaking offense, doesn’t that change the decision making process of acting within the rules or acting outside of the rules? Crowdsourcing, GoFundMe or any sort of fundraising campaigns to employ others to pay a penalty fine sets a dangerous precedent for the sport. 

We talk about the all the reasons why this situaton sets a bad precedent for short track racing in this edition of Road Ramblings. 


  1. Marshall says

    I totally agree. Crowdsourcing a repair is one thing- it’s basically like getting sponsorship from you fans. Crowdsourcing a fine for a safety violation is a really bad look. It’s great that Seuss has fans that love to see him race, but incentivizing the drivers to stay safe, especially during hot-headed moments after a wreck, is far more important. Seuss should give the money back, and if not NASCAR should refuse to accept payment until he does.

  2. Tinted, not Dark, Money says

    Sure it’s a bad look, but doing this will be very difficult to police. What prevents Seuss’s cousin’s wife’s daughter’s friend from being a hawaladar and creating the Freinds of Andy’s Go Fund Me with the express purpose of slipping Andy the cash?

  3. Rafter fan says

    Over the years, I’ll bet everyone of us has heard a comment along the lines of “commit illegal act XXX against driver/player YYY and I’ll pay the fine for you”. Crowdsourcing is the modern day way to live up to such a claim. So, I don’t find it shocking or particularly troublesome.

  4. Tinted, not Dark, Money,
    Obviously yes, you’re not going to police it. What I, and know many others in racing expected, was that Andy would thank his fans for the support and then say he was donating what was sent to him to a charity of some type.

  5. Tinted, not Dark, Money says

    Good point Shawn–I agree. That would be a better way to handle it.

  6. I guess it was better than watching Beers getting his butt kicked in the pit area.? Keep taking the entertaining value out of the sport NASCAR and watch what happens. Were they racing on a dimly lit dirt track in upstate NY or during the day light hours of NH. No reason for penalty

  7. My problem is when NASCAR penalizes you and then uses that footage for promotional reasons/marketing. That alone sets a bad precedent. To me it goes both ways. Its a lose/lose scenario.

  8. 😷 😷 😷 darealgoodfella 😷 😷 😷 says

    Wow. How stupid and gullible are people?

    Joe Gibbs Racing hauler has a flat tire, quick, do a GoFundMe to help the multibillion dollar operation fix a flat tire. See how stupid that looks????

    People are giving away their beer and cigarette money to a race team. It takes a couple hundred thousand dollars to run a Tour Type Mod for a season. You folks wanna donate to pay a measly $500 fine? Seuss doesn’t need the help.

    About 15 years ago, a TT Mod team was caught with a cheated carb, fined $500. It was considered a cost of racing, they got the win. And $500 was a lot more back then.

    Folks, it costs an owner several thousand dollars to run a race. Car prep, travel, hauling, team expenses, engine wear (refresh costs), tires, etc. It adds up quickly and easily, $500 is negligible.

    How crazy are you people that are donating ?????

  9. Modifiedcountry says

    Rules are written for a reason now if he got hit then who’s fault would it be the one that hit him.

  10. Crazy in NY says

    Maybe on the odd chance people like Andy and wanted to help him out in his moment of humanness. Weird to you maybe…

  11. Crazy in NY,
    If you listened to the full commentary you would have heard me say that I respect the loyalty of Andy’s fanbase. I have no issue with them wanting to show what he means to them. It doesn’t change the fact to me, him accepting that charity and announcing he was using it to pay that fine sets a bad precedent and to me says you’re essentially spitting in the face of those handing out the penalty. And maybe the problem lies with NASCAR. Maybe they need penalties that have more teeth that actually teach a lesson that if you break a written rule there are consequences. In the end there were no consequences for Andy. Someone else took the heat for him. There was no lesson or created deterrent after all was said and done for Andy. The only thing Andy learned from the penalty was that he has a free leash to continue to be a safety hazard during NASCAR events whenever or wherever he wants because his fans will take care of any penalties that arise.

  12. Way back in the late 80’s we were just starting out. We had a couple of bad weeks in a row, and were running really low on funds, LSS:
    We wanted 2 tires so while we were waiting for the pits to open we passed the cup around. Again LSS: our competitors all pitched in and we were able to get 3 tires. Someone even paid for our fuel. That’s why racing is so great. The competitors.
    As far as doing that to pay a fine, it shouldn’t be allowed the fine is punishment, and should come out of the driver’s pocket. You wouldn’t do it if you got a speeding ticket. Same theory

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