NASCAR »

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

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


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.



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.