The old racing aphorism, “If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin',” hasn't held true this year.
After two seasons that featured heavy fines and long suspensions for a variety of rules infractions, NASCAR's inspectors haven't uncovered any major violations this year.
Three Sprint Cup crew chiefs give their reasons for the lack of a cheating scandal thus far in 2009.
Drew Blickensderfer (#17 Ford of Matt Kenseth):
“I think everybody realises how important it is not to get points taken away. The (fine) money probably wasn't a deterring factor, but getting 150 points taken away, or whatever it is now, is big enough to set you back for the rest of the season. There's too much on the line with sponsorship and money right now to risk being knocked out of the Chase or being knocked out of a finishing position at the end of the year. The way they're inspecting the cars now is so strict that I think the risk far outweighs any reward you might get from trying to get away with something.”
Todd Berrier (#29 Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick):
“I haven't really paid a lot of attention to that, since I've pretty much tried to stay out of trouble, because I can't afford to pay my own fines. (Team owner) Richard (Childress) made me pay the last couple, and with things the way they are right now, I really can't afford it. The risk of $100,000 and 100 points is way more than the gain of anything you can do right now. You can't afford to go out there and give your sponsor a black eye.”
Slugger Labbe (#71 Chevrolet of David Gilliland):
“As a crew chief, you're a racer, and you don't want to stay home. If you do anything outside the box, you're going to sit home, and they've made that known. Maybe that's why NASCAR has been so hard on the people that have gotten caught. They said, 'This is the Car of Tomorrow, these are the rules, these are the gold seals. Don't mess with them, or you're going to sit home for six weeks.' It's pretty cut and dried.”
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News