The Frontstretch: Voices From the Heartland: Amazingly, 12-4-U has nothing to to with drinking a 12 pak! by Jeff Meyer -- Wednesday February 23, 2005

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A long time ago, in a column far, far away, I set out on a quest to obtain an official NASCAR rule book. Unfortunately, I fear that I would have better luck searching for ‘The Holy Grail’.

Anyway, in that particular column, I wrote; “We’ve all heard of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing). How about Section 12-4-W? (Improperly attached weight) What I want to know is, what about Sections 1 thru 11? What do they deal with? Is there a Section 13 and beyond? Is Section 12-4-U an invitation to drink a 12 pak? Race fans want to know this stuff!”

Even though I have yet to get my beverage cooled hands on a rule book, thanks to 15 so called rules violations last week at Daytona, I am slowly learning more. Unfortunately, even though my knowledge is growing, I am understanding less.

As it turns out, there actually is a rule 12-4-U and it has absolutely nothing to do with a box of beverages. Thanks to the No. 32 Bobby Hamilton Jr. car, I now know that 12-4-U is a ‘unapproved fuel cell well’! Check that 12-4-bit of the alphabet of my list!

Another one to mark off, and one that seemed to be violated alot last week, is 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components, and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules). Just to confuse me I suspect, NASCAR, in its infinite wisdom, sees fit to deem that a 12-4-Q violation is also, but only sometimes, a violation of 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing)!

Question: Wouldn’t a 12-4-U essentially be covered under 12-4-Q? I mean, thats like having seperate penalties for ‘pass interference’ and ‘pass interference with unmatching shoe laces’!
Confusing I tell you!

Now here’s where it gets really scary. Just as I’m still working my way through the alphabet the first time, Dale Jr. goes and gets fined for a 12-4-CC (unapproved rear end gear or transmission gear ratio)! I sure hope someone’s ‘c’ key was sticking when they wrote that. To think that there is a 12-4-AA (actions really detrimental to stock car racing?) and so on, is just too depressing.

At any rate, while I’m trying to muddle through all this, NASCAR managed to collect a grand total of $102,000 in fines just from Cup series teams alone!

Maybe I’d be better off just keeping a running tab of fines for all my loyal readers throughout the year. At years end, I’ll compare that to my beverage tab during races. I like my version of 12-4-U (or 12-4-ME as the case may be) better than NASCAR’s!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff

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