The love affair between Jack Roush and Toyota continues.
The Roush-Fenway Racing co-owner has never been a fan of Toyota, once paying an employee who drove a Toyota passenger car in Yen. He criticized the Japanese automaker’s inclusion in the sport, saying they would sway the competitive balance by spending the competition under the table.
Now, the General Manager of Toyota Racing Development has returned fire, saying Carl Edwards' Roush-Fenway team intentionally allowed an oil reservoir cover to come loose during Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, in an attempt to increase downforce and gain speed. Lee White said Toyota wind tunnel testing indicates that removing the oil tank cover produces approximately 170 extra pounds of downforce, giving the car a significant aerodynamic advantage. In addition, White said videotape obtained during Sunday’s race shows a crewman pulling on Edwards’ right-rear fender to create a three-inch gap between the fender and filler panel; a gap White claims would produce an additional 70 pounds of downforce.
Roush-Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith insists that the oil tank cover came loose accidentally due to a bolt backing off during the race, and that it did not produce any performance advantage.