« In wake of the possible A-Rod suspension, what offenses would be worthy of a lifetime ban from NASCAR? | Main | The Jeff Gordon who got beat on that last restart wasn’t the Jeff Gordon of the 1990’s »
By admin | August 3, 2013
By Richard Allen
In case you haven’t noticed, the Chase for the Sprint Cup is only a few short weeks away. And what could be better for NASCAR, the television networks and the fans than a good old fashioned rivalry? And what better rivalry than Joe Gibbs Racing vs. Hendrick Motorsports going into the ten race playoff?
On Friday afternoon at the conclusion of Sprint Cup qualifying, JGR driver Kyle Busch did his part to throw some fuel on the fire of a rivalry between the sport’s two most powerful organizations when he claimed that the HMS team of driver Jimmie Johnson manipulates the system to gain an advantage in time-trials.
“A lot of these other teams figure out how to play by the rules,” Busch insisted. ”It seems like there’s one that’s late more often than the rest. … Every time they’re late, they’re always fast. Maybe we need to be late.”
After having his car arrive late from pre-qualifying inspection and then catching a little cloud cover during his run, Johnson grabbed the pole position for Sunday’s GoBowling.com 400 at the Pocono Raceway with a track record speed. It will be the Sprint Cup points leader’s third time this season to start from the pole(one of those was due to the field being set by points).
Johnson claims that Busch is making more of the situation than is really there.
“I wish there was some master plan behind it all,” Johnson said upon hearing his competitor’s remarks. “They’re welcome to try it and experience the stress that goes with it. My heart was pounding out of my chest trying to beat the clock. I don’t wish that on anyone.”
This is not the first time a rival driver has called out the Hendrick teams. Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski accused the organization of tampering with the rear ends of their cars earlier this season. That claim came just before Keselowski’s Penske Racing team was hit with a penalty for tampering with the rear ends of their cars.
The 48 car’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, does have a bit of a reputation for working in the “gray area” so there might be some validity to Busch’s comments. But the JGR teams have had some inspection issues this year as well with engine issues, roof flaps and a Nationwide infraction.
For any team to be competitive, they likely have to be working in that so-called “gray area”. So the real issue isn’t who is getting away with what as much as it is who is accusing who of what. That kind of thing may not help the on-track product a whole lot, but it can at least improve the entertainment value of pre and post-race quotes.
Topics: Articles |