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Bowyer team either arrogant or foolish

By admin | September 22, 2010



By Richard Allen


The #33 Richard Childress Racing team has been nailed with one of the biggest penalties NASCAR has ever handed down. Crew chief Shane Wilson has been fined $150,000 as well as sent to the sport’s version of a timeout chair for six weeks. Car chief Chad Haney was also suspended for six weeks. And perhaps worst of all, driver Clint Bowyer and owner Richard Childress were docked 150 championship points.

These penalties came after the RCR machine had been taken to NASCAR’s R & D Center following the team’s victory in the Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The #33 team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-3 (car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis did not meet NASCAR-approved specifications) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.

Strangely, the team had been warned following the previous race in Richmond for moving a bit too far into the gray area.

It would seem logical to think that a team having been previously warned would make absolutely certain their car was within the allowed specifications the very next time to the track.

No doubt, NASCAR sent this team a message with their warning the week before. So, only one of two conclusions can really be reached in this case. Either the #33 RCR team was arrogant enough to believe they could get away with something despite the previous scolding, or they were foolish enough to simply not put their car back within allowable tolerances.

There are two sides to every story but in this case the side of the story offered by RCR will be difficult to accept. Had there been no prior warning then the penalty doled out might seem a bit harsh and the possibility of a simple error could be plausible. However, considering what happened just one week before, getting caught doing something illegal is pretty much inexcusable.

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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

9 Responses to “Bowyer team either arrogant or foolish”

  1. Charles Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 7:36 am

    What I cannot figure out, is why Nascars “‘prerace inspection” cannot catch these questionable or illiegal parts or problems with the cars!

    I mean they already knew the car was having problems at Richmond and warned them so did Nascar give them a pass at Richmond??

    Nascar needs to redo its inspection process and precedures and put more emphasis on catching problems before the race, not after?

    Also is it really important to keep inspecting Mike McDowells car and team when time could be better served checking front runners?

    Nascar also should take the wins from the team when they are infact illiegal, most of the time doing something like this makes the cars faster and ’stinks up the race” for the paying fans, I mean Boyer led over 170 laps of a 300 lap race!

    I like Boyer, but its Nascar who has a inspection problem!

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 8:07 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head Rich. The harshness of the penalty had more to do with arrogance. Remember Nascar gave the same warning to Hendricks about getting to close to tolerances.

    If nothing else Nascar hates having people (teams) disrespect or ignore the warnings.

  3. midasmicah Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Frankly I was shocked that nas$car penalized a major team. I had just responded to a column regarding a small team being harshly dealt with. I’ll eat my words. I can’t believe RCR pushed the envelope considering what was at stake. It’s pure stupidity.

  4. Bill B Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I am getting tired of hearing people say the pre-race inspection should be able to catch everything. How do you tear down a car before the race without 1) affecting how it will run in the race, and 2) bringing the inspection process to a screeching halt. It just isn’t feasible to spend 4 hours per car prior to the race inspecting everything. And remember the trick shocks the 48 team used two or three years ago? How would you catch something like that?

  5. Jimmy Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Im sick of hearing that it was a direct violation of the rules. You cant tell me that a car that was inspected in the morning, proceeded to go and run 300 miles as fast as possible, all the while beating and banging with 42 other cars will be in the exact specifications in which they were when they were unloaded off the hauler. Maybe they should go measure the back end of Kenseth’s car. I seriously doubt it’ll fit the NASCAR specs. While it doesnt excuse the 33(of which I am a fan), at the same time, if it passed both prerace and postrace inspection; then there is probably something that needs to be done with those two inspections. The tools used in those inspections need to be able to tell the differences so that this is headed off before something like this can happen again. If they knew he was outside the specs before the race, they could have adjusted and started at the back, or not let them run at all. This was simply mishandled on the part of NASCAR.

  6. KAN Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    NASCAR just had TV ratings show the biggest drop-off in viewership for the first race of the Chase. Next day – huge controversy over illegal car by a few sheets of paper. What an amazing coincidence!! I have absolutely no faith in the integrity of sanctioning officials at this point in time. The officials won’t provide the specifics once again. More super secret findings behind closed doors that the average fan has to accept as the truth. Just one more reason to shut the tv off and find a better way to spend my time.

  7. Charles Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Bill B

    With the advent of the COT, should have made the cars easyier to inspect now!

    I mean now Nascar has a spec car, not a Ford-Dodge- Chevy- Toyota seperate chassis and part numbers like in the 1970s. More uniformed now, one size fits all!

    !When I mean pre race inspection I include they are their with the same car on practice- qualifying, somehow Nascar should have had more time investigate it in the prerace and give notice!They have two to three days to get the message across before the race!

    Another thing I dont understand they will disqualify a car for being to low, now a driver if he wins cannot stand on top of car, = but they will let him spin the car after a race, do a donut taking a chance to hit the wall and damage the car or blowning up the engine!

    Always wondered if by doing a burn-out after a race could cover up some cheating as well!

  8. Marybeth Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Last year, when the 5 & 48 had ‘problematic’ cars, they did not get 150 point & cc loss. That is back when the 5 & 48 were still made in the same garage.
    “NASCAR spent an extended amount of inspection time with the #11-Denny Hamlin and #48-Jimmie Johnson cars which failed to pass the height sticks in the first attempt.” I do not believe that RCR would be warned one week & not make sure it was correct the next week. They passed 3 inspections before and after the race. Do you suppose that they see Clint as a serious threat to JJ winning his 5th so they are removing the threat now…?
    & they wonder why attendance & ratings are down. As someone said, Kevin Harvick won the championship this year. It is easier to fix 10 races than 36.

  9. JR Says:
    September 23rd, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    RCR cars did poorly in 2009. RCR cars do great in 2010. Now we know why.