On opening day of the first Chase race at Chicagoland Speedway the Michael Waltrip Racing team of Clint Bowyer was found to have beveled washers that would allow travel of the Track Bar under load; that is what I heard but it wasn’t really documented. This was caught in the initial inspections and the No. 15 team was subsequently fined and penalized by NASCAR.
The original penalty assessed included a $75,000 fine, three-race suspension and six months’ probation for Billy Scott (Crew Chief) and loss of 25 championship car owner and 25 championship driver points to both Robert Kauffman and Clint Bowyer. This more or less effectively takes that team out of the Chase.
On many occasions NASCAR has penalized a team with only a reference to some obscure rule leaving the rest of us to only wonder.
Today those fines and penalties were upheld under NASCAR’s appeal process which was expected. This is what I hate about NASCAR. I think that everyone, fans, teams, and media could learn more about the technical aspects of both the inspection process and what NASCAR intends for completion by knowing exactly what was done and why it hurts completion.
Maybe it is just the engineer in me coming out, but some pictures would be nice. A virtual demonstration on how this would help the car would be too cool. Think about it. The MWR teams thought that they were with-in the rules, so much so that they appealed. If they think they are that close shouldn’t we all be left to know and understand what they actually did and what that means for competition?
I can see NASCAR’s point of view, do they really need more Sunday morning quarterbacks? That makes sense but here I am. Here is the one thing I think that they are not thinking about. If we see it and it is explained then if other teams do something similar then they have even less to stand on for appeal. The reason being that a simple google search would show that one just doesn’t do that because guys like me will write about it.
Feature Photo Credit: 312734 Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images