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« NASCAR regularly manipulates so it shouldn’t be surprised when its competitors do the same | Main | Best Case Scenario: All This Controversy Will Kill the Chase »

It’s not that MWR manipulated, it’s that they manipulated badly

By admin | September 10, 2013

 By Richard Allen

If you haven’t heard about the penalties dealt out to Michael Waltrip Racing by now, you live a pretty isolated life. But nonetheless, the team was hammered with unprecedented sanctions on Monday evening after NASCAR officials(36 hours after the rest of the world) came to the realization that the team manipulated the finish of Saturday’s race in Richmond to help driver Martin Truex, Jr. get into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

So does anyone think this is the first time a racing team has done something to “fix” a race?

The reality is that things like this have been going on for a while. Ever seen one teammate pull over for a lap or two so that another team member can lead a lap for the bonus points? Ever see a driver slow way down when a caution came out to allow teammates to get back on the lead lap back in the day when drivers raced to the line? Ever see a one teammate push another around under caution to help save fuel back when that was allowed? Ever see drivers intentionally avoid drafting with certain drivers at Daytona and Talladega because of a teammate’s points position?

Of course, all of the situations mentioned above have happened multiple times throughout NASCAR’s history, especially since the prolific rise of the multi-car team back in the 1990s.

So what was MWR’s crime then?

The offending team’s problem was that they did what they did so badly. The conversation between driver Brian Vickers and spotter Ty Norris bordered on ridiculous. And even with MWR’s lame, after-the-fact release that Clint Bowyer was suffering from poison ivy, the command for him to scratch his arm just before his questionable spin was silly.

Apparently Vickers is incapable of realizing that he has a flat tire and Bowyer had never heard that when a body part itches it must be scratched.

Under such high-profile conditions as the ‘Race to Decide the Chase’, MWR had to know that their drivers and crews would be under the microscope. Yet, they carried out their business as if they were filming an episode of the Andy Griffith Show.

But please don’t take this piece to say that this writer is somehow supporting what MWR did or that their penalties were unwarranted. Rather, it is more of a stance against the climate created by the Chase and other modern-day facets of NASCAR.

And further, the moral of the story is- When you manipulate, don’t do it so badly.

Please read: NASCAR regularly manipulates so it shouldn’t be surprised when it competitors do the same

Topics: Articles |

12 Responses to “It’s not that MWR manipulated, it’s that they manipulated badly”

  1. Ann Says:
    September 10th, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Again all good and valid points. The Chase brings out the worst in this sport, whose time has come and gone. Long time race fans know it for what it is, a gimmick and a costly one. If your car isn’t in the Chase, a sponsor who might not understand the whole racing thing could get the idea that their sponsorship dollars went to a horrible driver, which is not at all true. If you aren’t in “The Chase”, you stink, again not true. TV dicates the other drivers are completely forgotten about, driver a b, and c get mentioned 1 million times along with saying “The Chase” a billion times and all we ever hear about is the RingDing Donuts car number 444, etc. It is a very limiting idea all around, and the sport has suffered for it. The double standard while King Brian is making his zillions and teams “do what they do to compete”, is sad.

  2. zhills fan Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Since Aaron’s screwed over Reuti, who cares what happens to mwr!!

  3. Bill B Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Point taken Rich. I’ll just say the scenarios you mentioned are much more like taking advantage of the system then orchestrating a conspiracy to undermine the system.

  4. Sue Rarick Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:03 am

    zhills fan Says: Since Aaron’s screwed over Reuti, who cares what happens to mwr!!
    (Besides the RAC commercials are now much funnier than Aaron’s)

    I bet Rodney Childers was home thinking -”It’ll suk to be you tomorrow” when this happened.

    While I hate the Chase what MWR did was try and manipulate millions of dollars that comes with being in the Chase. That in itself would be a good reason to get rid of it and eliminate the temptation.

  5. Sue Rarick Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Just a quick second thought - You mentioned pushing cars around the track to help save fuel - If your referring to what RCR did a couple years ago isn’t it interesting that former RCR Scott Miller is now at MWR.

  6. Tony Geinzer Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I think this could have a reverse effect on MWR. I do believe, not that this is the forum,Rich, but, I’d want Honda and Dodge and maybe even some European Marks only because 1. Not Everybody Wants To or Wants to Root for Detroit Cars and 2. I wouldn’t want to have another Toyota type manufacturer back again because all they care about is the checkbook and their results are icy at best.

  7. midasmicah Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Good article, Rich. This is nothing new. With advent of multi car teams did anybody think team orders were not going to part of the picture. And the chase encourages it. MWR did what a lot of teams have done over the years. They just did it badly.

  8. Jim Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Exactly. They aren’t very good at it, maybe because it’s not something they have done very often. Who knows. I just read a short piece the felon put out about how outraged he and Jeffy are about how Jeffy got robbed. If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black then I don’t know what is! Flash back to last year and Jeffy taking out Bowyer that helped the car he is listed as owner of. What goes around comes around.

  9. GinaV24 Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Yes, they did it badly and I’m very glad they got caught at it. I don’t like the chase, I never have. It’s a stupid gimmick and BZF said in one of this long boring rambling speeches that Nascar didn’t need gimmicks. Funny that all we’ve seen from NASCAR since he took over is one gimmick after another - lucky dogs, double-file restarts, the chase, blah blah blah.

    My guy’s out of the chase. Since one of the results of the chase has been that unless you are one of the chosen 12, you don’t get any coverage - not even when you are the leader - I simply have no reason to pay attention for the next 10 races. September & October have some of the best weather of the year in my area. I’ll find something to do with my Sunday — but it won’t be watching NASCAR.

  10. mrclause Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I’ll agree with one thing without hesitation, Mikey didn’t master mind anything. Then I’ll add that he should have received the same suspension that Ty got, day for day, hour for hour. He had a radio, he knew what was taking place.

    Poor Mikey is hurt that people are calling him out on this mess. Well Mikey let me say this plainly so you can understand this. You have once again been at the helm of a company caught cheating. The rocket fuel incident, the sway bar stolen from Roush, now this latest, that’s three major incidents. In each incident there was your stated innocence or ignorance of what took place. At every turn you threw others under the bus and thought you looked squeaky clean, not. Now it’s Ty and your three drivers that you stand behind, that are holding the blame and once again, not Mikey. Yes it may be harsh but, in this fans opinion you, not someone else, carries the mantle of being both a liar and a cheat. You are not the golden boy of NASCAR as you seem to believe you are. Your NASCAR legacy will be that of a cheat and someone without ethics.

  11. Jeff Says:
    September 11th, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    You can add the Penske/Lagano Team into the equation. Looks like Gordon may get his spot in the Chase after all.

    Just tragic for MWR. If they loose Napa and 5 Hour so many good people will go down with the ship.

  12. Russ Says:
    September 12th, 2013 at 6:34 am

    If you think Mickey is innocent think about this. Why has nobody been fired?