10 September 2013
Massive MWR penalties eject Truex from the Chase
Asked whether it was appropriate that the penalties announced on Monday evening helped Newman back into the Chase but did nothing at all for Gordon, NASCAR said that it wasn't able to do anything about knock-on effects from the instigating incident.
Helton explained that they could only levy penalties against MWR as an organisation as allowed under the series rule book, specifically for violations of section 12-4 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), and that it was simply coincidental that this had the effect of restoring Newman into the Chase in place of Truex.
"More often than not, you don't know exactly what happened, but the collection of all the information we collected from Saturday night led us to the team-wide reaction as opposed to an individual car," said Helton. "We don't react with a ripple effect of an occurrence because I don't think there is any way we can reasonably do that," he added. "We know from experience, if you try to look at ripple effect, you can't cover all bases that's equitable and credible across board."
Certainly for Newman it had been a whirlwind of a day, which began with his announcement that he was moving to Richard Childress Racing to take over the #31 car from Jeff Burton, just a few weeks after Newman had been told that his tenure at SHR would not be extended past the end of the current season. Ironically, Bowyer was previously an RCR driver until the end of 2011 when he moved to MWR.
Speaking before the penalties were announced on Monday, Newman had spoken about how crushed he'd been to miss out on the Chase cut on Saturday night. "To me, what happened to me Saturday night is the toughest thing that I've ever gone through in any kind of racing in my 30 years of driving because of the way everything went down and, in hindsight, how it hurt that much more," he said.
"I was extremely disappointed to see and hear some of the things that went down, and I think that that's relatively obvious to any fan or non-fan of our sport to know that it kind of goes without saying what happened," he had added.
"I do know that based on my opinion inside a race car and watching and listening and understanding the communication that there was then, that it was not entirely an accident; and the second part of that is maybe somebody could look up for me how many times this year Clint Bowyer spun out all by himself and get me an answer on that, if you don't mind."
Newman now has his answer. But vastly more important than that, he also has his Chase spot back which means that he will join Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and of course Clint Bowyer in competing for this year's Sprint Cup championship title.
Michael Waltrip Racing
Martin Truex Jr.
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