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Gordon becomes 13th man in the Chase

NASCAR has announced that as a result of its latest investigation into the events last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, Jeff Gordon will be added to the 2013 Chase line-up.
It's Friday 13th, 2013 and Jeff Gordon has just become the 13th man in the 12-driver line-up of this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. It might just make him the luckiest man in the sport.

In a special news conference on Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR president Mike Helton made the announcement that left even the most experienced journalists covering the series reeling with shock. The decision to promote Gordon into the 2013 Chase followed days of investigations into the latest allegations of race manipulation at last weekend's race at Richmond International Speedway.

On Monday, NASCAR concluded that Michael Waltrip Racing had improperly used team orders to affect the race outcome so that one of their cars, the #56 of Martin Truex Jr., made it into the Chase. Penalties imposed on the team included a record fine and a points deduction that dropped Truex out of the Chase and promoted Ryan Newman into the play-offs in his place. However, NASCAR insisted at the time that they could go nothing about the 'ripple effects' of MWR's actions that had seen Jeff Gordon lose his place in the Chase to Penske Racing's Joey Logano.

However, further team radio transcripts uncovered midweek by The Associated Press suggested that Penske had attempted to strike a deal with Front Row Racing to ask David Gilliland to allow Logano past to gain a vital position that put the #22 into the Chase at Gordon's expense. After review, NASCAR said that it did not have enough explicit proof to conclude that the teams had actually engaged in collusion, but decided that some sort of action was required to maintain the integrity of this year's championship.

“Based on all of our findings this week, we determined both Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organisations would be placed on probation for the remainder of this season,” announced France. "Additionally, based upon the totality of our findings, to be totally fair and equitable we decided that adding a 13th car to this year's Chase is the appropriate action."

That 13th car is the #24 of Hendrick Motorsport's four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, who has had to wait for six long days to get his place in the Chase.

“Beginning with our decision Monday, which resulted in an unprecedented team penalty, and continuing with further examination of actions involving two other race teams, it is clear to us that attempts to manipulate the results impacted the Chase field," France continued. "The integrity of our sport remains the cornerstone of NASCAR, and our actions this week speak to our commitment to ensure a level playing field for all competitors."

NASCAR also said that it would be holding a mandatory meeting with drivers, owners, crew chiefs and other team personnel on Saturday to address the issues that had arisen post-Richmond and how the sport would move forward regarding the rules and ethics of racing. The meeting would not be open to media.

"As you're well aware, we've been looking at a lot of video, audio and timing and scoring information and other data from the Richmond race," said Helton. "What we've decided is in addition to what other actions we've taken, we're going to put Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing both on probation for the balance of the year for actions detrimental."




Related Pictures

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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, signs autographs during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished 6th Sunday, September 1, 2013 in the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Gordon moved up two positions and now ranks 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson for Chevrolet)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 56th Annual Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS placed 3rd in the qualifying run Friday, April 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway for Saturday`s Toyota Owners 400 race in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas for Chevrolet)
Brian France, chairman & CEO of NASCAR, and Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, speak during a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2013 in Joliet, Illinois. NASCAR announced that Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, would be added as a 13th driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.  (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 DOW Chevrolet, Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Chevrolet, Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet, and Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 Nature`s Bakery Chevrolet, practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Scott. (Picture Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, holds his daughter, Lydia Sunday, November 22, 2015 before final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Johnson and other Jeff Gordon teammates at Hendrick Motorsports wore tribute hats to honor the retiring Chevy driver prior to the start of the race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to a sixth place finish Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Gordon finishes third in the Chase for the Cup Championship. This was Gordon`s last race as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. He has made 796 consecutive Cup Series starts, earned 93 wins, and 81 poles - all behind the wheel of Chevrolets. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick finishes as the runner-up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing Team battled back from a bad re-start after the first caution of the race to finish 17th in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo Credit: Campbell Marketing)
Series championship contenders Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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GreenEnvy 22

September 14, 2013 2:34 AM

It's great they caught the guys cheating and they deserve the punishment, but it does seem a little hypocritical. I know I'm not the only one who views Nascar's phantom yellow's for "debris" as rather suspicious. They often seem to conveniently setup exciting finishes or fixing a runaway race. That all said, I haven't watched a Nascar race, outside the odd road course race and the Daytona 500, for the last several years.



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