NASCAR SUSPENDS AJ FRANK By Matthew Dillner
Frank Not Happy After Greenville-Pickens Tow and Ruling
It was as tough weekend at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, but even a tougher week ahead for NASCAR Southeast Series competitor AJ Frank. He received word yesterday that he would not be allowed to compete this Friday in Nashville, TN. Frank had been doubting whether or not he would make the trek to Tennessee after wrecking his car at Greenville-Pickens Saturday, but NASCAR helped make that decision for him by handing down a suspension.
Frank was fined $250 and penalized under section 12-4-A of the 2004 NASCAR Rule Book: actions detrimental to stock car racing, for being involved with an altercation with a NASCAR official. His supsension lasts until June 15th and he will be on probation until December 31st.
“I wish they hadn't supended me,” said Frank. “I could see if it was just probation. I was arguing with them (NASCAR officials) and there were like 10 people jumping on me at once. I tried to get through all of the people and I must have nudged an official. I did not do it intentionally.”
The supsension compounded an already disasterous weekend that saw Frank's Thunder Island #11 become an innocent victim of a early crash. The wreck tore up his brand new Lefthander Chassis racecar, but not all of the damage was done on track. Frank's new car suffered further damage while being towed into the infield following the accident.
“We got the car more tore up getting it off the racetrack then we did on the racetrack. I started to get towed away and I tried to slam on the brakes to get them to stop. I jumped out of the car and tried to get them to stop, but they still kept on going. The left rear shock was drug off of it, the entire eyelet was gone. The left rear frame-rail was drug real bad too.”
Some drivers can chalk up a wrecked racecar as just a part of racing. For Frank, it is a lot more serious than that. The Bluffton, SC driver re-financed his home just to get the money to build a competitive mount.
AJ Franks's brand new #11 before it was wrecked by an accident and a tow. (51 Photos)
“I couldn’t count the amount of hours I spent building that car. I built it from scratch. It is the first new car I have ever had in my life. I've never even sat in a new car (before now). I re-financed my house so I could race this year and build that car.
“It's going to be tough to lick these wounds. The right and left sides are beat in pretty good and not to mention what to do with the rear clip. I don't know if the car is structuraly good with it being drug like that.”
Frank told 51 on Wednesday that he isn't sure what his plans are after his supsension is up. Until then Frank will fix his racecar and regroup.
“We will probably pick and choose races now. We have Gordon Construction on board for Kentucky so we will definitely be there to run the superspeedway.”
“I love to race these cars and I love this series. I've done a lot to get good equipment and I think I can win in this series. We finally get out there with good equipment and this happens. It's a real bummer.”
A NASCAR spokesman could not be reached for comment.
"I have a lot of blood sweat and tears in this car," said Frank on Wednsesday. (51 Photos)