By admin | November 7, 2013
By Richard Allen
In response to a piece I posted on Wednesday evening(Kenseth vs Johnson just doesn’t seem like a rivalry), one of my readers posted a comment in which he stated his belief that Toyota drivers might very well offer assistance to Matt Kenseth in an effort to help him win that manufacturer’s first Sprint Cup title. The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver currently trails Chevrolet’s Jimmie Johnson by seven points. Those two competitors have separated themselves from the rest of the Chase for the Sprint Cup pack.
“It’s all about Toyota making sure all their drivers finish behind Kenseth in the next two races, you can count on it. They want this more than the teams want it. The billions they spend to say built in America, playing the national anthem in their tv ads. their engine factory that no other company has, it seems like every race is paced by them. What a joke Nascar has become”
In response to that comment, a reader identified as Pokey declared that more than just the Toyota drivers could be involved team assistance in Phoenix and Homestead.
Vote in the poll at the right to voice your opinion on whether team orders will come into play——————————–>
“Jesse, you will probably have tunnel vision before you die. You did not notice that Jimmie, Junior, and Kasey all suffered from “slumps” over the last month before the Chase? All were trying to help Jeff Gordon make the Chase. I took a Brian France intervention, but he got there. Do you think any of the other six Hendrick drivers (yes, six and even more among the field fillers) will finish ahead of Jimmie this week? Unless he wrecks or blows his engine, you can bet against that just as easily as you can bet Kyle and Denny will finish behind Matt. You are correct that, if Jimmie still needs to have a great finish at Homestead, the last race will be a parade of Chevys protecting Jimmie and Toyotas protecting Matt. Lat I looke, there with be at least 18 Chevys and maybe 12 Toyotas at Homestead. YOU do that math and stop dumping on my driver, Matt Kenseth, for no reason other than you like worthless Government Motors products.”
Just a few short weeks ago, team orders were very much at the forefront of NASCAR-based discussion. It was determined by the sanctioning body that Michael Waltrip Racing had engaged in such activities during the Chase deciding race in Richmond. That organization’s Martin Truex, Jr. was removed from the playoff and fines were doled out.
But even with that incident still easily within the memory, would team members be willing to “help” a fellow driver with the same emblem on the front of his car?
If so, can we expect to see JGR drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin “protect” Kenseth? Would the MWR drivers assist their fellow Toyota campaigner after having been punished just a short time ago?
And of course, Johnson would have plenty of helpers from his Hendrick Motorsports stable as well as that of sister organization Stewart-Haas Racing, if they opted to do so.
Some fans have implied that Jeff Burton did this very sort of thing back in 2011 at Phoenix when Tony Stewart got by him on the last lap. Of course, if this were to happen over the next two weeks, it doesn’t have to be that obvious. A driver could start dropping back well before the final lap to assure that a teammate would finish ahead.
The best case scenario for the next two weeks would be for Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth to race it out for the Sprint Cup title without the aid of any other drivers. However, to believe that such orders are not at least possible in this era of mega teams would be naïve, especially with so much money and prestige on the line.
Let’s watch to see if anything suspicious takes place.
Check out my NFL and NCAA football picks and a story on Nick Saban to Texas here—> Allen Sports Page
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