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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)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, takes the green flag waved by Evander Holyfield to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 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 Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via 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 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: 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 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/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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