Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When All Else Fails, Blame the Wrecker ...

Bowyer celebrates his Loudon win after Sunday's race.
My how fortunes can change. And sometimes all it takes is 60 thousandths of an inch.

Today NASCAR got tough with New Hampshire race winner Clint Bowyer, team owner Richard Childress, crew chief Shane Wilson and car chief Chad Haney when the No. 33 car failed tech inspection. 

And the penalties are bad enough to put a sizable dent in the team's once rosy championship hopes.

Bowyer was docked 150 championship points,  punting him from second to twelfth in the Chase standings.  Childress was docked 150 owner points.  Wilson was fined $150 thousand, suspended from the next six races and put on probation until Dec. 31.  Haney was served with the same penalty as Wilson - minus the hefty fine.

“It revolves around how the body of the car is located on the frame on three coordinates,” said Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby.

Childress vows to repeal the ruling.  And, in its defense, the team is blaming the wrecker which they say hit the rear bumper of Bowyer's No. 33 when it pushed the gasless Chevy to Victory Lane after Sunday's race.

RCR's official statement is below:

"The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and chief executive officer of Richard Childress Racing, regarding NASCAR’s penalty on the No. 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team after last week’s race in New Hampshire:

'First of all, I’d like to apologize to our sponsors, our fans and everyone at RCR for the situation that has resulted from this ruling. RCR has a long-standing reputation of integrity on and off the race track. We pride ourselves on working within the rules established by the sanctioning body.

NASCAR informed us after the Richmond race that we were very close to their maximum tolerances. They also told us they were going to take our New Hampshire car to the NASCAR Technical Center after that race. It doesn’t make any sense at all that we would send a car to New Hampshire that wasn’t within NASCAR’s tolerances. I am confident we fixed the area of concern and the New Hampshire car left the race shop well within the tolerances required by NASCAR.

We feel certain that the cause of the car being out of tolerance by sixty thousandths of an inch, less than 1/16 of an inch, happened as a result of the wrecker hitting the rear bumper when it pushed the car into winner’s circle. The rear bumper was also hit on the cool down lap by other drivers congratulating Clint on his victory. That’s the only logical way that the left-rear of the car was found to be high at the tech center. We will appeal NASCAR’s ruling and take it all the way to the NASCAR commissioner for a final ruling, if need be.'”

Childress versus NASCAR.  This could be good ...

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