Friday, September 13, 2013

BLOCKBUSTER: NASCAR Adds Gordon To 2013 Chase

Helton (L) and France have spoken
Following a comprehensive review of all available audio and video communications from last Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, along with interviews with team personnel, NASCAR has announced the following decision:

Both the Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing).
Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 AARP/Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet have been added to this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. 
Gordon to the Chase
“Based on all of our findings this week, we determined both Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations would be placed on probation for the remainder of this season,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, based upon the totality of our findings, to be fair and equitable we decided that adding a 13th car to this year’s Chase is the appropriate action.  
“Beginning with our decision Monday, which resulted in an unprecedented team penalty, and continuing with further examination of actions involving two other race teams, it is clear to us that attempts to manipulate the results impacted the Chase field.  
“The integrity of our sport remains the cornerstone of NASCAR, and our actions this week speak to our commitment to ensure a level playing field for all competitors.” 
NASCAR will conduct a mandatory meeting with drivers, owners, crew chiefs and other team personnel tomorrow to address this issue moving forward.
Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick applauded the move, saying, ““I applaud NASCAR for taking the time for a full review. What occurred at Richmond was not of their making, and they’ve had to wrestle with some very difficult decisions throughout the week. I know everything done by NASCAR has been a sincere effort to be fair and ultimately do what’s best for our sport and our fans.

“We’re extremely proud to have all four cars in the Chase for the second consecutive season. Jeff and the No. 24 team earned this spot, and we’re going to leave everything on the racetrack during these last 10 (races). The support this week from our fans and partners has been incredible, and I’m proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for the effort that’s gotten us here. The Chase is going to be exciting.”


  1. I'm afraid to tune in one the way home.

    I don't envy your job right now.

  2. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Congratulations to Jeff and Hendrick! If they want this stuff to stop, ban all radios. That would really change the playing field next season! Ah, the days of NASCAR prior to radios. Oh, WAIT! That can't happen they make too much money off of Fanscan or whatever it is called. Strike that suggestion. . .

  3. Anonymous4:41 PM

    The Hendricks cars seem to get treated a little bit differently than all of the others.

    1. Anonymous5:20 PM

      HENDRICK - No "S" at the end. Get it right people, or follow another sport.

    2. Anonymous6:29 AM

      I think only the "H" is capitalized. Hendrick.

  4. And they said history couldn't be re-written!

    Is it fair, maybe yes, maybe not.

    Yes it is unprecedented but, as stated it is an attempt to retain the integrity of our sport.

    There are many, many ripples to the actions taken on the track at Richmond and we all know that not all of them can be addressed.

    Here is what I wrote on my Facebook Page:

    Highland Wealth Advisors LLC

    This is an open letter to Clint Bowyer, Ty Norris and the entire Michael Waltrip Racing organization.

    I am pissed.

    I have worked very, very hard trying to attract potential new sponsors to an underfunded race team. This past week we were making some inroads in our discussions for next year's Daytona 500.

    After last weekend's antics at Richmond we now find ourselves struggling to overcome the perception that NASCAR is just another form of Wrestling. I know that it's not and most fans certainly know this but now we have taken a huge leap backwards.

    Sponsors are now questioning why they should consider continuing to make a huge investments in a racing organization. As many of you have seen, companies like NAPA are distancing themselves from the actions of the race teams in which they have invested.

    Just imagine the struggle these inexcusable actions have had on the underfunded Teams. Our job has now become even more challenging due to the selfish actions of a few very wealthy people.

    We are not so naive to think that these things don't happen all of the time; but they should never happen when it clearly effects the outcome of a race. This is NOT acceptable, not to our fellow competitors, not to the sponsors and certainly not to the fans.

    Clint Bowyer should take some lessons from athletes in other sports and apologize for his actions. MWR should also apologize. Some say that they cannot apologize considering the position it would put them in. I say hogwash. If you want to begin the healing you MUST take your medicine.

    The questions and doubts will not stop because Clint says he is done talking about it. Certainly he must know this.

    I will continue to work hard to provide funding and sponsor dollars for NASCAR race teams so we can keep providing sponsors with a good return on their investment and fans with what they want to see: honest competition and good sportsmanship.

    We can move forward from this incident and, eventually, put it behind us. The healing will come more quickly if some people make the hard decision to do the right thing.

    You thoughts and comments are welcome.

    Thank you.

    1. njkastle5:21 PM

      Thank YOU!!! Again someone saying what I would like to say, but was too sad to get it together. I am sick of hearing Clint say it is over because he wants to stop talking about it. He cannot think we are that stupid. Or are we?

    2. Anonymous10:14 PM

      Mr Moody
      What strikes me as odd in all of this is the fact that NASCAR has been so selective in their assessments of the penalties to MWR and now to the 38 and 22 teams. If radio transmissions are monitored with such scrutiny, it should be done so with a modicum of consistency. It has been mentioned countless times that people spin, brush the wall or engage in acts that are 'detrimental to the sport of NASCAR'. But should these penalties be weighted any differently now than say, race three of the season? I find it odd that there has been so much media attention drawn to this (although it is expected because of the proximity to the Chase) but we quickly forget how many times Hendrick has been caught with an illegal chassis, or even the communication with Jimmy when he told him to 'stuff it in the wall during the burnout' if he won that race. The difference now is that the rules are being written on the fly, and it seems VERY ad hoc; no penalty will fit the crime and (again) NASCAR plays judge and jury.

      I am a huge MWR fan, and ashamed of what transpired last week, but did the penalty fit the crime? How do you quantify a penalty to which there is no infranction? By default you use radio communication as a crux to a perceived competition problem? Well - why not add 3 more racers to the Chase? If we're being arbitrary anyway - who does it hurt?

      Honestly - this got way over blown: I emplore anyone reading this to spin their car at 180 mph and tell me that was easy; again, my point is to suggest that we crave the cheating and intrigue it brings to a race. Now - Nascar isn't just looking for physical controls to rule upon, they're adjudicating on the environmental aspects as well. Too bad I say. And seriously folks - lighten up - move on and Enjoy the Chase!!

      Go get em Clint!! Much love from Canada!!!

    3. Coming out of turn 4 at Richmond the car is not going 180 MPH. These are professionals and I am quite certain most if not all sprint cup drivers know how to throw their car into a controlled spin, if not then how do you explain victory donuts!

  5. No fines or points penalties for the 38 and 22 is disappointing though. Still inconsistent with the penalties. I understand Ford is under-performing this year but that does not negate that they did the same thing as MWR did.

    I guess a half a glass is better then an empty glass.

    Good for Jeff, he was at a serious disadvantage with all the deal making happening at the races end and was in b4 the 15 spin.

    1. Jeff had a serious disadvantage?? How so? He is in the best equipment, and on the best team! He was in the same position last year. Jeff has to finish better in the regular season so he's NOT dependant on how others finish!

    2. Read the transcript, those are NASCARs words. Then read the last 6 words of my comment. NASCAR saw the same race we all did and theirs is the only opinion that really matters being they make the judgement call and the rules and do all the officiating.

  6. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Well that settles it after being a NASCAR fan for over 40 years and watching Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Childeress rig a championship by putting Dave Marcus in a car to drop out so Dale could lock in the win I am no longer going to be a party to this insanity.

    This is the last straw, I'm done! No more TV no more Going to the events.

    Good luck NASCAR

    1. And yet you came here to say goodbye? See you next week, my friend.

    2. Anonymous5:11 PM

      Well played Dave, very well played...

    3. Anonymous5:32 PM

      Truly I respect you and listen to your show and tweets. I knew this was going to be your reply. I wanted to express my thoughts to someone who might pass it on to NASCAR.
      I can promise you though I'm done.

      It has been totally frustrating since the inception of the chase and this was the straw that broke the camels back.
      NASCAR is now no better than Baseball or Football at manipulating their own rules because of all the people who grew up not being competitive because it might harm Johnnies feelings.

      I know this is your job and your life and you won't abandon it.

      Thanks for your time, respectfully submitted.

    4. Anonymous5:56 PM

      Just goes to show that the more you whine and cry, NASCAR will cower down to the big teams! Here is an idea......Get rid of "The Chase"!!! The racing is nowhere as good as it was before "The Chase".

    5. Steve G. NY7:23 PM

      Just goes to prove that when Jeff cries, NASCAR listens...this is not the way to run this sport.

    6. Anonymous10:51 PM

      Agreed, Sorry

  7. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Hey Jeff,

    Hope you can get back here on your private jet from some fun vacation somewhere in the sun with your beautiful family in time to crawl back in that race car.

    He's probably like dadgummit!

    Lol - Good luck Jeff!

  8. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Jeff did nothing wrong he's in congrats. Martin did nothing wrong an he's out what the hell. Fair huh?

  9. Anonymous6:34 PM

    So why isn't Logano being penalized?

  10. I would have been more satisfied if Bowyer had been excluded.

  11. Anonymous8:40 PM

    Well, NASCAR has certainly put themselves on a slippery slope here. I'm interested to see what benefit Front Row Motorsports will actually get from Penske for the deal that was made. Maybe we'll see David Gilliland in a Penske Truck Rentals FRM Fusion next week. I don't know why they were willing to pull Truex out of the Chase in favor of Newman, but Logano stays and Gordon gets added. It seemed they were against expanding the field to 13, but that's not the case now it seems.

  12. integrity? what integrity

  13. what integrity? NASCAR just did whatever it felt like doing with the chase. I'm surprised that they didn't just put Brad as well!!

  14. Fair or not Nascar took what actions they thought were fair.
    I think the only driver that got penalized by something not of his doing was Martin Truex,

    I don't think he should have been hit with a 50 point penalty. Yes his management made a bad call(s)and should learn if they were going to do what has been done by others in the past to keep their mouths shut. I also wonder why Carl Edwards was not blacked flag for jumping the start. Is any of these actions right. No but why is anyone surprised. It has been done before and will be done again lets go racing.

  15. Started watching truck race but can't stand listening to Waltrip. Dave, you seem to think that no one can somehow give up on watching NASCAR? I'm not ready to yet, but close. There was a group of 19 friends & co-workers who followed NASCAR closely. One person has passed away,12 have honestly quit watching or caring. Except,of course,this week they have heard on national sports reports of what is happening and call to rub it in how NASCAR is not a legitimate sport. getting hard to keep defending our sport. For the fans that think drafting & letting a teammate lead a lap is the same as MWR did, that is not at all true. Richmond race is like a last chance race at a Saturday night short track.Granted, Gordon & Newman should maybe have been higher in points before this race, they were both racing their way in to the chase with their performance & skill. They got cheated out of their chase spots by MWR. I understand anything like a blown motor or tire still could have changed the finishing order, but it would have been nice to see how it would have played out without MWRs underhanded moves. Thank you Michael Waltrip & Co. for ruining what WAS setting up to be the greatest Chase setting race so far!!!

  16. Jason in Maryland11:26 PM


    I wish your lines were alittle more open on your show. It's darn near impossible to get through. Anyways, I was going to suggest that NASCAR had not taken the appropriate action when the put out the original penalties this past Monday. The fines and the suspension I feel were correct, but the removal of Truex wasn't fair to Truex.

    I was going to suggest that they temporarily expand the field to 14 cars with 5 cars racing for 3 spots. Bowyer, Gordon, Newman, Truex, and Logano. My idea is that the first 3 finishers of the 5 would have been in the Chase. The two lower finishers would have been eliminated regardless of their finishes or points in relation to the other chasers. This to me would seem to be the only "fair" way to let the boys race for it and "earn" their playoff spot.

    Reason why I included Bowyer in this group that would fight for Chase survival is quite simple. If you are willing to break rules (lets not be coy about this, he did it and anybody reasonable can see that) then you should be willing to fall on the sword if it comes to that and you finish behind the other guys whom are on that elimination bubble.

    As for the meeting tomorrow with the teams, I suspect it's going to be what we refer to as a "Come to Jesus meeting". Meaning that it isn't going to be so much a meeting as more it's going to be a "If any of you do this again and we catch you we will cite you with such a harsh penalty it will force you out of the sport". We'll see though, but I suspect that's what will be said. Have a good one and love your show.


  17. Dwayne in Memphis11:51 PM

    The next best step: Dear MWR, since you seem to have instigated all of this mess, every driver currently behind the 15 will be paid their final points reward by you. That is to say, the 88, 78, 5, 39, and 24 teams' final points standings monetary reward will be paid by Michael Waltrip Racing since those were the most affected by your hijinks. You're a nice guy, but you and your team will not openly mock the competitive integrity of our sport. There's your fine. Sincerely NASCAR

  18. Dwayne in Memphis12:01 AM

    And the follow-up to NASCAR from MWR: Thank you NASCAR for creating a system with so much emphasis on the final 10 races (both in prestige and financial reward) that you have all but begged teams to cheat, borrow and steal whatever they can to make for certain for their teams and their sponsors that the teams are a part of this final 10 race "Playoff". Next you can blame us for having certain teams *cough* Hendrick *cough* blatantly admit to using early races as sanctioned test sessions for the chase counterpart. But somehow that's not affecting the integrity of the sport? As the Jimmie Johnson fans in the stands if they feel they got their money's worth out of watching him blow up a motor 120 miles into a 400 mile race because they're trying some things later in the season "when it really matters". Because your vehement and continual assertion that NASCAR is NOT a stick and ball sport falls short when you set up the "playoff" schtick that you have. We sincerely apologize for doing everything we could to get into your playoff gimmick after you intentionally made the playoff infinitely more important than the first 26 races of the season. (Middle Finger Salute) Michael Waltrip Racing

  19. I'm sorry people but this is a different can of worms from the MWR debacle - should NASCAR review all 26 races to see who let a teammate lead a lap for a point and reseed the Chase based on those results?

  20. Anonymous1:07 AM

    NASCAR is becoming a joke. Rules aren't rules, and the old sayin' "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" is now obsolete in NASCAR. Last year Gordon got in because the Hendrick teams were allowed to use a chassis modification for "one more race" before it was banned, now he gets in because there's finger pointing in the press.

    I am sick of all the 'mulligans' given to Hendrick teams. Stacking the deck against the competition isn't fair in spite of NASCAR's interpetation. Gordon didn't deserve to be in.


  21. Love this. I'm glad they did the right thing & put the 24 in the Chase. I've never liked the Chase to begin with, but they did it right by me in this case.

    It reminds me of the Winston where Gordon wrecked his car at the start of the race. The track was still wet. NASCAR did the right thing then, too, by letting them bring out the backup & race to the win...

  22. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Check this out. Look and see how many Fans are there in the stands. Does that tell you anything about there "Chase". We have stop going to the track. And we don't watch all the races on TV anymore. One thing I hate is, when a car fails the post race inspection and they get a fine and then they get to keep the win also. This is wrong. If your found illegal you should be disqualified, No points, no purse and a FINE. Why would you award a cheater with the win of that race. We drove 725 miles to the ARCA Dirt Race in Springfield Ill last month, Nascar style cars on a 1 mile dirt track, now this is some real racing . The Chase is all about the Media and nascar favorites like Rick Hendrick. Buy the way, the only rear drive car manufactured today is the Dodge Charger. Get rid of the Chase and give Brian France a job selling programs..

  23. The Chase, Brian France selling programs and track attendance.

  24. Anonymous11:22 AM

    Are we NASCAR fans just being played? The chase is turning into a joke, many of the drivers & teams are liars, and some of this new t.v. coverage is a joke! FSN1 is all about football, and they kick much of the NASCAR programming to Fox Sports 2, which is not Hi-Def and has the video quality of the of some old 8mm movie. And the new t.v. contract that starts next year, the one that is going to pay NASCAR almost twice as much money as the past contract, where do you think that money is going to come from? Be prepared for many more commercials, and possibly having to buy different packages from your television provider. Seems to me NASCAR fans are getting screwed.

  25. Anonymous2:33 PM


  26. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Well, NASCAE had to figure out some way for all the Hendricks's drivers to get in the chase