ARCA Series driver Taylor Gray has been fined $1000 by NASCAR after being caught filming himself driving at the Daytona International Speedway during a testing session.
The 16-year-old driver was recording with Snapchat, which made the video available to all of his friends and fans.
While it goes without saying that NASCAR drivers shouldn't use their phones and drive, the sport actually has very strict rules about the use of a device inside a stock car. In fact, according to NASCAR's rule book, a driver isn't even permitted to have their cell phones in their car at any time.
The NASCAR's rule book explains:
"Vehicles and drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic recording devices, electronically actuated devices, smartphones/cell phones, watches, micro-processors, recording devices, filming devices, electronic digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the like, even if inoperable or incomplete."
Keep in mind that Gray was going 180 MPH down Daytona's 2 straightaways and very well could have hurt himself. Again, this is the same track that took the life of Dale Earnhardt in 2001 and sent Ryan Newman on a wild ride in the 2020 Daytona 500. Even with today's safety precautions, it is still a very dangerous track.
One example of this is Kyle Busch's 2015 Xfinity Series crash, which left the future champion with a compound fracture in his right leg. NASCAR has since installed a safety barrier inside the wall of the track, which works to reduce the impact felt during an incident.
NASCAR has been all over the place with rulings this year and the season hasn't even begun. It is worth mentioning that Gray only received a light fine due to him competing in their lower-tier ARCA Series.
In the end, NASCAR has made a very controversial call on the incident. This should be an issue that is taken seriously following the death of Dale Earnhardt. However, it appears that the authorities in the sport have learned nothing.