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Hendrick and Roush reject controversies

Two of the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup teams, Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing, found themselves caught up in controversies this week after events at Talladega.
Two of the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup organisations, Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing, were finding themselves under uncomfortable spotlights this week after different controversies arising from last week's racing at Talladega Superspeedway.

The Hendrick #48 team was left rebutting accusations that they had been seeking to cheat with illegal specifications on Jimmie Johnson's car, while the Roush team were dealing with the repercussions of Trevor Bayne switching from drafting with Jeff Gordon to backing Matt Kenseth in the final minutes of last Sunday's race, apparently as the result of team orders.

Hendrick's unwelcome media attention arose from in-car radio transmissions from crew chief Chad Knaus to Johnson that appeared to suggest that the driver should purposely damage his car if he won the race, apparently to hide possible set-up violations.

"If we win this race, you have to crack the back of the car. Got it?" Knaus can be heard telling Johnson in audio recorded from an internet feed. "You don't have to have to hit it hard, you don't have to destroy it. But you've gotta do a donut and you've gotta hit the back end, or somebody's gotta hit you in the ass-end or something. OK? ... You'll be alright. Can't take any chances."

Knaus was later quoted as saying that he and the team had not done anything wrong, but were "just being proactive" in case the wear-and-tear of the long restrictor plate race had left the car slightly out of the very fine tolerances allowed by NASCAR, unless there is clear evidence of in-race damage being responsible.

"Chad was trying to protect himself post-race. He made a foolish statement. That's really it at the end of the day," insisted Johnson on Friday, pointing out: "That car passed inspection multiple times throughout the course of the weekend.

"Chad and I certainly respect NASCAR and their inspection process," Johnson added. "You can tell from my reaction [on the recording] it was something I'd never heard in the car from him before. It is what it is."

"There's really nothing there," said NASCAR Sprint Cup director John Darby after a review of the recording and a meeting with the #48 team. "The facts of the matter are, when we inspected the car at the race track, the car was fine."

However, NASCAR is aware that the controversy and suspicion stirred up by the implications of the audio recording meant that Johnson's car was going to face increased scrutiny for the rest of the season to make sure it really was a one-off foolish remark after all.




Related Pictures

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Trevor Bayne gets behind the wheel of his NASCAR Nationwide Series car during practice at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. Bayne returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this week for the first time in nearly two months. [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin work on drafting during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 21 in Talladega, Ala. [Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. work on drafting during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 21 in Talladega, Ala. [Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jimmie Johnson climbs into the #48 in the garage area at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton for Getty Images]
#48 driver Jimmie Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus at Pocono Raceway. [Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images]
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Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS finished in fourth place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS qualified for third position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS qualified for second position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Marcos Ambrose in the Richard Petty Motorsport garage at Sonoma Raceway on June 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

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pukka - Unregistered

October 30, 2011 7:48 PM

Difference between NASCRAP and real racing. Everyone cheats, but real racing knows that radio communications aren't the place to do it. In their defense, radio tech and the internet are probably unknowns to them, they are still running carbs iirc.



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