Saturday, September 17, 2011

Helton Says Menard Case Now Closed

NASCAR President Mike Helton said today that after reviewing audio and video footage of last Saturday's night's spin by Paul Menard at Richmond International Raceway, he see no basis for any penalties against Menard or his team, Richard Childress Racing.

Menard's spin with 16 laps remaining in Saturday's "Wonderful Pistachios 400" brought out a caution flag that erased the comfortable lead held by Jeff Gordon and gave Menard's RCR teammate, Kevin Harvick, an opportunity to take the lead on the ensuing restart. Harvick eventually passed Gordon and pulled away to win his fourth race of the 2011 season, prompting Gordon to question whether Menard's spin had been intentional.

Menard insists that his right-rear tire began going flat a lap before his Turn Four spin, and Harvick said he was told by team officials that the tire was "down to the cords." Childress has categorically denied any wrongdoing on the part of his team.

NASCAR's Helton said earlier today that the sanctioning body would investigate the spin, adding, "We're going to look into it and see if there's anything. A lot of it is going to be interpretation. Certainly, it's on us to understand exactly what all we can find as far as facts are concerned. It's on all of our shoulders to get the facts right, and if there's something there, we should find out about it and be sure that we've got it right."

After a close examination of the team's in-car audio and television footage of the spin, Helton said there is no concrete evidence of any wrongdoing, and that NASCAR considers the case closed.


  1. Anonymous6:44 PM

    Maybe NASCAR should have asked ESPN about it. Seems ESPN had enough to get everyone they asked to say "They did it" or at least "They did whatever they needed to do to win the race". No one ,but NASCAR and RCR, has said it didn't happen.

  2. Go back and read it again... slowly. Mike Helton didn't say "they didn't do it." He said there was no evidence that PROVED they did it.

  3. Anonymous10:14 PM

    What about menards statement on SBnation, why is nobody talking about that

  4. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Look Dave, if you were looking at the same thing I was, you had all the proof you needed. Not to mention that the right rear that was "flat" was fully up even after he slid out into the grass. I know NASCAR can't prove anything but the way they just dismissed it rubbed me the wrong way. I guess it's all in the wording of the response. It was to clean and PC for me. They (RCR) did it and they were smart enough to get away with it and I guess nobody else really has a problem with it. Well maybe Gordon.

  5. Anonymous11:06 PM

    Anonymous said...
    What about menards statement on SBnation, why is nobody talking about that

    10:14 PM

    Well what do you think he is going to say. He has only one play here and that is to keep stating that it was a blown right rear tire.

  6. Anonymous6:36 AM

    Menard said he didn't want to spin Kenseth out if Kevin was leading, that is why Menard kept asking if they needed a caution

  7. Anonymous7:06 AM

    Yeah right..and Kenseth is known as a driver that needs to be "paid back" and Menard is known as a big tough guy.