Thursday, September 19, 2013

COMMENTARY: Thoughts On The MWR Debacle

With a week or two to process the unsavory events that took place at Richmond International Raceway earlier this month, I’ve come up with a few thoughts on the topic…

First, I believe that NAPA’s decision to leave MWR is entirely understandable. NAPA Auto Parts has every right to set high moral and ethical standards for those chosen to represent them. Their contract with MWR undoubtedly contains specific language governing both personal and corporate conduct, forbidding the team and its employees from engaging in any actions that might bring the sponsor into public disfavor or disrepute.
What happened at Richmond two weeks ago did all that, and more.
In the days following the race, NAPA’s Facebook page was inundated with angry messages from NASCAR fans; many of whom were also NAPA customers. One after another, thousands of fans vowed to boycott the auto parts distributor, despite the fact that NAPA had no stake in – and no prior knowledge of – MWR’s actions. NAPA was unfailingly loyal to Waltrip and his team for more than a decade, despite a first season that included multiple missed races and a major controversy surrounding an illegal fuel additive prior to the Daytona 500. They didn’t deserve it then, and they don’t deserve it now.
NAPA’s sponsorship of MWR was undertaken in an effort to build brand loyalty and increase sales. Now, their involvement has produced the exact opposite effect, costing them business and alienating longtime customers. Scorn, ridicule and lost revenue were not supposed to be part of the deal.
I also have come to believe that Michael Waltrip is either exceedingly loyal, or totally complicit.
Less than 48 hours after the Richmond debacle, MWR Vice President/General Manager Ty Norris offered himself up as corporate scapegoat, taking full responsibility for what he called “a split-second decision” gone wrong. Waltrip stood beside Norris, claiming that he understood the call and would have made the same decision under the circumstances. If indeed Norris was solely and personally responsible for what happened at Richmond, he has now cost his team a $300,000 fine, Truex’s spot in the championship Chase (likely worth another $3-5 million) and the final two years of a multi-million dollar, 38-race per season sponsorship.
Norris’ continued employment proves than Waltrip is either the most forgiving man in America, or knew what was happening from the get-go. You decide, because I can’t.
I am more convinced than ever of the old adage, “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” As Richard Nixon learned decades ago, the only one thing worse than getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar is trying to sweep the crumbs under the rug.
When in-car audio surfaced of conversations between Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and their respective teams, it became clear to most observers that MWR had conspired to alter the outcome of the Richmond race. Right or wrong, legal or illegal, there was an obvious, contrived effort by two of MWR’s teams to get a third team into the Chase, by any means necessary.
Had the team fessed up immediately, it could have ended there.
Instead, MWR attempted to float the split-second decision” scenario, despite its failure to explain how one man (with one radio) was able to influence the actions of two separate drivers and teams, in the blink of an eye. They insisted that in the final 10 laps of a pivotal NASCAR race, crew chief Brian Pattie was simply inquiring about a minor case of poison oak, rather than issuing coded instructions for Bowyer to spin his car intentionally. Their explanation insulted the intelligence of every NASCAR fan and made it clear that they felt no repentance nor pangs of conscience.
The team steadfastly avoided any real admission of guilt, saying only that, “we regret the decision and its impact.” Not until today was the word “apology” used by anyone associated with MWR, and that apology came far too late to salvage the team’s relationship with its longstanding sponsor.
Ironically, it is the innocent who have suffered most.
Despite doing nothing wrong, NAPA now must try to salvage its place in NASCAR and win back its customers and fans. Martin Truex, Jr. also did nothing wrong at Richmond international Raceway, driving his car to the best of his ability, giving 100% from start to finish and lettingh the proverbial chips fall where they may. While others clearly conspired to manipulate the race on his behalf, there is absolutely no evidence – not one iota – that Truex and his No. 56 team were in on the scam.
Despite that, he was bounced out of the Chase last week, since NASCAR could not allow MWR to rob the competitive bank and hand Truex the proceeds. Today, he lost his sponsor, all through no fault of his own.
Sometimes, life is just not fair.
NASCAR has also suffered from all this. Not since Richard Petty drove to Victory Lane with an illegal engine and improper tires at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1983 has the sport of stock car racing suffered such a collective black eye. To non-fans and casual observers, NASCAR drivers are now the motorized equivalent of the Chicago Black Sox, ready and willing to “throw” an event for a teammate when the need arises. If they’ll lay down for Martin Truex, Jr., would they do the same for a Las Vegas bookie or a Chicago mob boss?
The question alone is enough to make true lovers of this sport cringe.
Times have changed, my friends. NASCAR race cars are no longer built under a backyard shade tree. Team owners are multi-millionaires, rather than the proprietor of a local filling station. Once worth a fistful of twenties, race wins and championships are now worth tens of millions of dollars. As the sport has grown, so has the level of temptation. “Cheating” used to be a polished cam shaft. Now, it’s the widespread collusion of a multi-car team to twist the outcome of a race in a teammate’s favor.
“Try your best” used to be a given. Trying to win was the obvious, unstated goal. Somewhere along the line, however, that goal got lost in a sea of corporate pressure and high-stakes maneuvering.
“Doing what’s right” slowly morphed into “I did what I had to do,” and somehow, we all got conned into thinking it was okay. Sticking a guy in the wall on the final lap used to be the sure sign of a lousy racer, someone worthy of being shunned by the “real racers.” Now, wrecking a guy is accepted, even expected. And we are all worse for the change.
Little by little, one day at a time, we have been led astray to the point where we needed NASCAR to remind us that giving a 100% effort, 100% of the time is not just expected, it is required.
Let’s never forget that again.

141 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:33 PM

    I know why NASCAR had to find someone specific to say it punished but "the single man theory" is preposterous. Add to your list that he was spotting for a car while managing the twists and turns of the final laps. Would be a great advertisement for how much you can do with a fan vision.

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    1. Anonymous4:06 PM

      @Anonymous I agree with what your saying as a matter of fact I'm pretty sure the call for Bowyer to spin came from the grassy noel.

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    2. Anonymous4:53 PM

      just wondering what would have happened to Bowyer if he had not done that, if he would still have a "job" after having ignored that "call"....I like Bowyer and I do think that spin has probably made him an unhappy man.....and I like Truex and feel he has been the scape goat....and I like Vickers and to hear him on the radio very confused about having to come in for a pit stop with 3 or so laps to go....the whole thing has really hurt some good drivers....

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    3. Anonymous5:57 PM

      NASCAR didn't punish one single man. MWR blamed it on one man.

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    4. Anonymous6:41 PM

      That's stupid of napa to drop them because a handful of people r crying! That's what I liked about the commercials
      Is MW n them he makes the commercials!! I think we as Nascar fans don't buy from napa parts!! What about other driver's sponsors HES not the 1st and want b the last! #18 #48 just saying!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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    5. Anonymous8:38 PM

      ok i have to agree with everyone this should of never happened but look at Johnson and his team cheating at Daytona maybe Lowes should of pulled his sponsor ship and Nascar should of hit that team harder than what they did Yes i am not a Johnson for or a hendricks fan at all But if Nascar is going to hit MWR this hard then they need to hit other teams just as hard for cheating. If they did this then quite a few teams would get nailed alot they havent gotten caught yet

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    6. Anonymous8:59 PM

      It's "knoll" not "noel".

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    7. Anonymous9:24 PM

      the 55 was not in it at all (the case) and nascar said bowyer was cleared

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    8. Anonymous10:57 PM

      A very well written opinion and thank you for doing so Dave. I for one truly wish that it didn't happen but it probably needed to happen. Like you said " We have been led astray. I've been a long time listener to your show and love listening to your race broadcasts. It's sometimes better than being there. lol Keep talking and I'll keep listening. Wishing you the best and yes even Angie too. hahaha Take care Dave

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    9. Anonymous12:09 PM

      I just wanna say that this was a very well written article. However, I believe NASCAR needs to wake up and realize that throwing races and doing less than 100 percent has been going on for years and years in this sport and will continue to do so, especially when only certain teams are punished. If NASCAR is serious about the rules they have set since Richmond, I hope as a die hard fan they enforce those rules for EVERY team!!!!

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  2. Anonymous3:44 PM

    I'll still shop at NAPA. Their actions demonstrate their integrity and make them worthy of my business.

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    1. If they end up on a Hendrick car then they are hypocrites.

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    2. Anonymous3:01 PM

      "Hendrick" sure is a funny way to spell "GIBBS"

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  3. Robert G.3:45 PM

    I have no doubt that any of the other multi-car teams would have at least done what they did with Brian Vickers in getting him to pit or otherwise give up spots to enable one of their cars to get in the chase given the opportunity.
    Not sure they would have gone so far to bring out a caution to impact another teams driver though (we can debate and will never know for sure if the spin was intentional).
    I think what makes it so hard for people to get a grip on is the concept of "throwing" a race a help a team mate. All of the stick and ball sports an owner only has 1 team so they can't throw a game to help themselves out.
    As far as giving 100% to win, what about those stick and ball teams that have clinched a playoff and sit key players to keep them from getting injured. Are they giving 100% to win?
    And even in NASCAR where teams try certain things knowing they are locked in. Is trying a new motor that you know may blow up but you don't care as much because you know it won't hurt you giving 100%?

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    1. Anonymous4:30 PM

      Oh the spin was intentional. Dale Jr. knew that from the seat of his race car that night - why because back a few years ago Jr. did the same thing, admitted to it on TV and suffered a nice 25,000.00 fine. Boywer spun his car into a caution. As for Michael Waltrip, I am on the fence about him but if that was one of my employee's who just cost my tema that much money and a sponsor it would be "don't the door hit ya where the good lord split ya"

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    2. Anonymous5:02 PM

      difference, Jr. admitted his wrong doings...

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    3. Anonymous12:51 PM

      So everything is A-Okay with cheating so long as you admit to it only after you have been caught? That's interesting.

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  4. Words best said but pointing fingers is hard to do when the sponsors are the ones pushing the teams to be the best they can be without getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

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    1. Anonymous4:22 PM

      I agree! Good point

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    2. Anonymous3:31 AM

      very good point, I agree.

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  5. Anonymous3:52 PM

    Couldn't have said it better !!

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  6. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Mr. Moody
    I do not always agree with every thing you publish but, I must say "Bravo Bravo!"

    CD

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  7. While reading your blog earlier today about MWRs response to NAPAs departure, I thought to myself that Waltrip himself must have been in on it, otherwise he would have canned Ty Norris's butt. As far as Truex is concerned, he should entertain any offer he gets from a top-level team. He's certainly worthy of consideration.

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    1. Anonymous6:38 PM

      Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!!

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  8. Anonymous3:54 PM

    To believe this is the first time any team has done something to aid a team member is foolish. What bothers me the most is NASCAR is only addressing finishing positions, what about the drivers/teams agreeing to allow another driver/team to lead a lap for "bonus" points? Could that have an effect on participation in the Chase?

    I hate the actions detrimental to NASCAR catch-all rule. NASCAR has had more than enough opportunity/knowledge to create a black & white rule for this situation but has chosen not to do so.

    I agree something is wrong at MWR that Norris is still employed, but something is also wrong inside NASCAR that this was a "surprise" that required action to address the behavior.

    Has NASCAR looked the other way in the past? Sure seems likely. Was MWR stupid for not "hiding" team instructions or being better prepared to give the signal to take a dive? Absolutely!!

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    1. Anonymous6:00 PM

      Agreed. Now it's all about witch-hunting. Many drivers earn almost exactly the same number of points after 26 races, so what do you expect other than something inventive... Something off the track to buy an advantage, I mean what else was expected? I mean a single position 10 raced back can make or break your chase but you don't know it until after Richmond? When all there is left is to "review" anyone can make anything look or sound any way they want. I have a hard time believing all of this as nobody is mentioning Jimmie & Chad talking about "Cracking the rear end after you win" (but before the race). I mean are we all really that convinced that MWR, an UP-AND-COMING team, trying to fight the big boys is really the one doing all the wrong? I guess all that is left to say is that compared to all the other team-related conspiracies I have followed over the years, this isn't anything special so MWR is just at fault for being caught. That's all I get out of this as a NASCAR fan.

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    2. Anonymous10:50 AM

      So true about the "witch-hunt". Also, points manipulation starts way back in the off season when owners "buy into" teams just to see that their new team is getting credit for the points earned by the team they bought 99.99% of. With the former owner listed as a "partner" and using the number he used the year before they are maybe now set up in order to get a provisional at Daytona. Also that bring up putting past champions in the car for just Daytona to help their chances of getting in. It's all "fun and games" until someone gets very publically gets nailed. Most of the "fans" that NA$CAR is trying to cater to don't know about the subtleties of "generating points", or else they'd be screaming every week about something. Those of us who have followed ALL motorsports for many years know these little tricks of the trade. Dare I say, team orders in F1. How about if you need a caution in the two major dirt late model series'? Just slow down, you don't even have to STOP on the track to draw one. This is what "points racing" has turned motosports into.

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  9. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Well said Mr. Moody. I know this fiasco has caused one race fan to spend more of his hard earned money at tracks like Eldora Speedway, rather than IMS , Michigan, Chicagoland, etc. Greed has over ridden sport. I was naive enough to think it hadn't got to Nascar just yet. I was given a stearn wakeup call at Richmond. Keep doing what your doing to make this sport better because I know nobody loves Nascar more than you!

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  10. One other thing, how does the 100% rule apply to the start and parkers, or doesn't it?

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    1. Anonymous8:12 PM

      Good question !!!!

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    2. Anonymous11:01 AM

      Brian France danced around that one by saying those teams ARE doing the best they can already. Due to differing circumstances, their "best" is different from the others. Yeah, which to me means having a full field of cars. Strange, isn't it? They twist things around to make sure they have "full fields" in all three of their top divisions, like reducing the number of cars that make the race, (i.e. Nationwide, Trucks) but they don't do the things that give them full grandstands. They just don't get it. They started their climb to success by what they used to do. Now their decent into "ho-hum", is driven by their desire to be "like the other major sports".

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  11. Does this make Aarons and 5 Hour Energy appear less reputable? absolutely it does. Fans need to let them know... as they did let NAPA know.

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    1. Totally agree! Hopefully they'll be next!!

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    2. Anonymous6:52 PM

      What do you hope we do? Run off every sponsor who is affiliated with a team that bends the rules? Then there would be no sponsors left and NASCAR would dissolve.

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  12. Well said,and I really do hate it for Truex and Napa as well.

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  13. Clear thinking on your part, Godfather.

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  14. Nancy Kastle4:07 PM

    Thanks again, Dave, for your commentaries today. I wrote to you a few days ago about putting on my big girl panties and trying to deal with the moral issues that have befallen my NASCAR, not just now, but for quite a while. You have gathered up all the aspects of this situation (history, money, loyalty, character) and have shown me something I hadn’t been able to see or understand. I have been strengthened by NAPA showing some guts. I am inspired that a sponsor took a stand and I truly hope they find a deserving team for their support. NASCAR does need to evolve and you are helping it happen. P.S. I’m still not ready for any M&Ms.

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  15. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Dave,
    My question on this is that how many times do we hear of a driver pulling over to let a team mate lead a lap to get the points. I don't understand why this has created so much more attention with Vickers being called to pit vs. the crew chief that says hey your team mate is right behind you and needs the point. I don't see why NAPA would pull out because of that when they stuck with MWR after their first year when they had the additive in the intake manifold where that was obviously cheating.

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    1. Anonymous6:47 PM

      I agree with u!!!!!!!!!!1

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    2. Jason in Maryland7:55 PM

      I'm not Dave obviously, but the root of the issue isn't that they attempted to help their teammate. The root of the issue with so many people is they manipulated the situation to do wrong to every other driver in contention for that 10th place position. What was done didn't just impact a few drivers for that race. It was the cutoff for the Chase. It would have cost those teams that didn't make the Chase millions of dollars in bonuses, sponsorship exposure, and an opportunity at racing for a championship. The fact that they intentionally threw a couple of positions on the track for one race pales in comparison to the money and exposure gained from being in a championship hunt. To me that's the core of the issue.

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  16. Anonymous4:14 PM

    Everyone is dumping on mwr for a team mate helping a team mate make the chase. johnson stayed out 2 laps on a flat tire after hittinf the wall to force a caution to help jeff gordon get back on the lead lap. team mate helping team mate. although they a re not team mates gilliland was told by his crew cheif to let lagono pass him to get him into the chase and glliland slowed a second a lap to let lagono pass. so i would say if mwr cheated so did all these other drivers nascar just wanted to create hype for a failing scheme they call the chase. it is no wonder they are losing fans to local short tracks.

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    1. Anonymous4:32 PM

      i agree.....that is why nascar can go to hell...i will not be spending anymore money on this great sport ruined by greed and hypocrisy....mwr did nothing wrong in trying to get one of their team into the chase.....and i also think napa is wrong for what they are doing by leaving mwr as a sponsor

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    2. Anonymous6:00 PM

      Gordon was only a lap down because when Johnson hit the wall, he was on pit road. He did not stay out 2 laps on a flat tire either.

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    3. Anonymous6:04 PM

      I agree as well. There is too much hate and loud comments about one while forgetting all that has caused the lead-up to this one incident.... ALL those times ALL those other teams have caused a controversy. How many times has Chad been suspended? How many times during a year that they won a chase title? Anyone paying attention to anything other than that moving bandwagon?

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    4. Anonymous6:49 PM

      Well said!! I agree

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    5. Anonymous9:15 PM

      People forget how many times the 48 car has been caught cheating !

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    6. Anonymous3:34 AM

      come to find out the horribly offending "pass" wasn't needed anyways..its racing, and it wasn't needed. The people complaining have no idea what they are mad about. IMO

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  17. I thought NASCAR had outgrown it's bad all days, until this debacle, now I have to wonder...was Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s win at Daytona, after the death of his father, conspired to make a "moment to remember" and a PR wonder, real too. The bad past few weeks by Jimmie Johnson created so that the fans will have some drama instead of just saying "he has been # 1 since the first of the season, so of course he is gonna win - so I am gonna change the channel". I am just sad, I will still will continue to shop at NAPA, and feel sorry for them having to make this decision. I am disgusted at Michael Waltrip for his response re: the NAPA decision. I hoped NAPA would see that Truex appeared to have nothing to do with this scam and continue to support him. It is a sad day for NASCAR AND ALL OF ITS FANS!

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    1. Anonymous4:43 PM

      You bring up valid points. When RCR allowed Jr to drive the Wrangler #3 at Daytona who's to say that wasn't rigged as well?

      The simple fact remains that the image of NASCAR and the teams racing under their umbrella, whether earned or not, have been tarnished and need to back into full damage control. I would not be surprised to see even more empty seats in the stands as we continue forward.

      In my opinion "smoke" went a long way to remind fans and NASCAR in his Eldora Truck race earlier this year that you don't have to have bling to put on a show fans will pack in to see. It was grass roots racing at it's finest!

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    2. Anonymous8:23 PM

      It was rigged...

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    3. Anonymous11:27 PM

      You guys are " conspiracy " thinking on past winners Ie: dale jr, daytona win; c'om Dale doesn't
      Need anymore fame nor money (he's worth over
      300 million) he doesn't need it , so get off it.
      As for MWR. They've cheated big time, twice and he is responsible, so face it, quit trying to roll everyone else in on the "cheat sheet".

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  18. Anonymous4:22 PM

    I like Martin Truex and Brian Vickers..... I think NAPA made the right decision. I also think Penski should have had a stiffer fine. He was conspiring with another team to cheat also but he got a slap on the wrist.

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    1. Anonymous3:35 AM

      no cheating, per Nascar rules, just because you don't like it doesn't mean they were cheating. Blame Nascar not the culture that they approved and encouraged all these years. L

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  19. Anonymous4:22 PM

    truer words have never been spoken Mr Moody but I don't think we will hear the last of this until after Homestade or maybe even speedweeks in Feburary

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  20. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Let us not forget that MWR was not thy only teams doing questionable things to advance to a better porition

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  21. Anonymous4:26 PM

    MWR was caught cheating when they first started and were fined BIG and suspended , when kyle bush spun hornady in the truck race, nascar took him out of the 2 races left that weekend, and M&M took the candy off the car for a race. NAPA might have done that maybe but its their call..............

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  22. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Let's face it fellow NASCAR fans, corporate influence is a double edged sword. Since the mid 80's teams have walked a fine line between winning at all cost, and has now cost MWR a huge sponsor.

    As a team owner, corporate America applies pressure where needed on these team owners to perform. Market penetration reports are generated weekly by sponsor marketing departments to gauge the effect a NASCAR team has had on their brand in just one short weekend of racing. How many Monday morning meetings do you want to have with a sponsor to explain why you consistently finish in the back half of the field every week, and generate little to no television coverage after they shelled out $10m to $20m to sponsor your race car?

    I can assure you it's not that warm, fuzzy Aaron Commercial with Michael laughing and giggling like a little girl in pony tails.

    In the legal arena there's this thing called shared culpable negligence. In short, corporate America should bare some of the burdens of blame since they are the evil that has created this monster. Maybe not a 50/50 split, but it's close.

    You want to clean up NASCAR? Start capping sponsorship dollars, put a 2 team limit in place, and get rid of this stupid assed chase format, and if you decide to keep it, make up your mind NASCAR on how you want to accrue points once and for all and stop jacking it around as you've done 5 out of the past 7 years!

    Just my opinion, now back to you!

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    1. Anonymous3:37 AM

      Amen!

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    2. Anonymous10:18 AM

      Great way to explane things ; this covers it well .. thanks !!

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  23. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Well said..

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  24. Anonymous4:35 PM

    It was MWR's Day to Get Caught...!!! NAPA IS INNOCENT....!!! Most Team's,Admitted or Not,Want That Advantage...!!!e.g.,Bill Elliot's,Swirl Design on His Cylinder Head's...!!! Remember 212 - 215 MPH.....?!?! Lighter,Faster,Designed Panel's Changing Shape at High Speed's for Superior AERO,etc,etc,etc......!!!

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  25. Well said. The happier ending would be if NAPA ended up on another top level car and they were able to land Truex Jr. to drive. Might be his contract has similar out clauses.

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    1. Anonymous8:23 AM

      I was thinking the same thing. NAPA taking Truex to another team.

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  26. I have a problem with Michael Waltrip remaining on the air as a commentator for not only the truck races but especially for the cup races. His integrity and credibility are ruined. Who can trust him to call a racing situation honestly? I do not want to see NASCAR's reputation further harmed by him. I love the sport and value the commentators who are knowledgable and honest.

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    1. Anonymous8:27 PM

      I have a problem with everyone placing all the blame on Michael. Is he really the first and only person in NASCAR to do something stupid???? It makes me think of Paula Deen. Was she the first and only person to use the N word?
      Both were wrong in what they did.... but no need to persecute them....

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  27. Anonymous4:39 PM

    NAPA still sponsors a funny car so I will still buy products there. As long as a company sponsors any form of racing, I will still use them.........even if it is with a team or driver I don't cheer for.

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  28. Anonymous4:47 PM

    There were a few things you didn't get right in your story or you decided to leave out.
    1. MWR did apologize in a statement that read "We apologize to NASCAR, our fellow competitors, partners and fans who were disappointed in our action" in their release that went out the night NASCAR issued its penalties. here is a link to the statement. http://www.michaelwaltripracing.com/news/press-releases/2267/mwr-statement
    2. When NASCAR tells the team and everyone else that the spin was not intentional... how is a driver suppose to apologize for something that NASCAR is telling him was not intentional.
    3. You compare MWR to the Blacksox, but completely avoid the 22/38 conversations. The prize money between 22nd and 23rd was $12,000. FRR isn't giving up that spot for free.
    4. A team before the Chicago race could pit whenever they wanted to pit. MWR pitting the #55 was the ultimate game changer, but was not technically illegal.

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  29. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Has everyone forgot the saying "Take one for the team" This sort of thing is not new in racing, just look at F1 a few years back with Lewis H. and the last lap deal. Big money and sponser pressure for wins, getting in the chase and TV time play right into this. The only thing now is 10,000 people are monitoring and recording whats said on your radio. It will happen again only less obvious with runners and no radio chatter.

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  30. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Dave I commend you on this and think that NAPA got caught up in something where they had to jump ship and get away from MWR in a hurry. Michael can say he is not to blame but cheat once shame on me cheat twice shame MWR and I fully believe all 3 cars should have been removed from the chase for this. By the way I like Clint and Martin. I have no favorites I want to get in just those 3 should sit it out and make this perfectly clear no cheating. Thanks for your time
    Ron from Phx

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  31. they will go with Dale Jr he need extra sponsor for the 88

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  32. Dave Moody thank you for standing up for morals in big business, and thank you NAPA for caring enough about what is the right thing to do when someone you have sponsored in good standing for 14 years. This had to be one of the hardest decisions you have ever had to make. MWR made choices that will effect hundreds of people that put their trust in them as a Company and a Nascar race team. I hope Martin Truex knows he has choices, and needs to start now making them to save his career. The best thing for him to do, would be to file charges against MWR for putting his career in jeopardy and walk away from them with his head held high.

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  33. Anonymous5:11 PM

    I agree with you and I agree with Napa u know like I do no matter what Napa decided it was gonna be dang if you do dang if you don't

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  34. Anonymous5:18 PM

    You have to remember there is a fine line between a good business man and a crook...... they can be on either side of that line very easily many times....

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  35. Anonymous5:20 PM

    I wish Nascar had expelled Bowyer from the chase. I don't think he deserves to be in it. How are we going to feel if he wins the champonship. He is not champon material. He is not a good representative of the sport.

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  36. Anonymous5:21 PM

    couldn't have said it better myself there's been cheating some of these teams for a long time it's about time nascar stepped up to the plate done something about it only thing is NASCAR didn't finish the job Clint Boyers should have been thrown out of Chase and Michael Waltrip band just like Ty Morse was.

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  37. Anonymous5:37 PM

    This is all craziness. If what MWR was wrong, then what about when Childress started a third car years ago only to park it after a few laps, to be certain his driver could get closer to clinching the championship? What about when Hendricks used an illegal tire compound? Come on folks, unless you own the team or have got your neck stuck out there, you can NEVER, EVER, EVER guess what you'd do in a similar situation. Johnson's been caught cheating, so have MANY others. It's a competition, you use whatever advantage that you have. And if that advantage is a teammate, then use it. How many times have teammates let one another lead a lap to get bonus points? What's the difference. I'm saddened by NAPA's decision to pull away from a quality team. What if Home Depot had pulled out of Gibb's when Tony Stewart was hitting reporters? By FAR, the LARGEST mis-justice of this fiasco, is NASCAR's RIDICULOUS decision to add a 13th driver to the 12 car chase and "make" a spot for Gordon. That's COMPLETELY insane!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous8:35 PM

      Amen.... 13 cars in the 10 car chase????? Get rid of the stupid chase. They were doing very well without it.

      Delete
    2. Made me realize something. Under new NASCAR edict of all race 100% should not start and parks now be eliminated? These cars have no intention of 100% except attendance at the pay window.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12:01 AM

      That was well said. I hope people read this with "open" eyes and not just with opinions that don't make sense of a complicated sport that is not just turning left for 3 hrs.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous12:02 AM

      thank you

      Delete
  38. Anonymous5:38 PM

    Since Nationwide is leaving after 2014,maybe Napa could come on board as the new title sponsor. Sounds like a good fit and transition away from a team situation.

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  39. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Well said Mr. Moody,
    I think NAPA did what is right to maintain integrity. I am sorry for Martin Truex as he was not involved in the mess but lost his sponsor none the less. I really hope Michael Waltrip does some hard thinking about this issue and decides to stay on the up and up. I was a Michael Waltrip fan and still am, although I am tryly disappointed in this fiasco.

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  40. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Get your head out of your asses people!! To bring Jr and the Wrangler #3 car into this conversation as rigged is BS!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:04 AM

      Jr gets brought into EVERY conversation regarding NASCAR even if it doesn't pertain to him. Jr haters love to spew the same garbage over and over and over.

      Delete
  41. Your candor and ability to phrase thoughts in the most simple of ways is not lost on this fan. Although I do not always agree with you, I certainly respect your opinion. As a journalist clarity is difficult to achieve with brevity and in this instance your decision to wait for a period of time was certainly justified. I have done a lot of business with NAPA and it is a brand I also respect. MWR is a brand that questions ones core perspectives and the issues of entertainment vs accomplishment vs responsibility and truthfulness. When NAPA decided to stay on after the DAYTONA cheating issue it showed their loyalty to MWR. I can honestly state, I am not shocked at the actions or reactions of this black mark on racing. I am happy to read of NAPA's position and I am also heartbroken for Martin Truex jr, whom I still respect and now has to be forever attached to this foul act. The fact that Fox allows this bad actor to continue to work for its new network says volumes and his self explanation during the pre race CWTS race convinced me this person has no shame. It is possible that this incident was a split second decision but it also appears it may also be the DNA of MWR. And let us not fail to point out that DW's throwing of his brother under the bus was also in step with tradition. Loyalty to all, till they need it, then slowly distance yourself. This stink will linger and NAPA chose to sever ties because they could not trust MWR to act as its representative. Talk about actions detrimental

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  42. NAPA has been one of the best sponsors ever in racing,From their Regal Ride shocks on the cars in the 60s and 70s.The Daytona 500 victory with Buddy Baker, Many event sponsorships,Over a decade as a full season primary sponsor! Long term this company needs to sign Chase Elliott ASAP! I look for Chase to win often when he reaches the cup level, Might as well be in a #9 or #94 Napa car.

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  43. Anonymous6:30 PM

    I was just waiting for NASCAR to call a debris caution to tighten up the field and make for a more exciting finish. Bowyer did it for them.

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  44. Anonymous6:35 PM

    NAPA proved there integrity to me also by pulling there sponsorship from MWR!!! I can't believe Michael said that he'd have made the same decision if it was up to him!!! Michael you don't have to look this way if you are wanting respect because I have absolutely 0 respect for you as a team owner and driver. To know that you would allow your teams to manipulate the outcome of a race really bothers me a great deal.

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  45. Dave, you hit this completely out of the park. Kudos to you and your commentary. Cover ups have been going on since the beginning of time, and this was no different. I truly hate it for NAPA and Martin Truex, JR. Just like you, I don't believe they were complicit in any of this mess. I truly hope NAPA can land somewhere with a quality team and driver.

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  46. Brenda6:46 PM

    Its STUPID for NAPA to leave MWR over a spin! Come on people! You'll make more of this then is worth the electricity to run this laptop! Mike was a Great Spokesperson for NAPA.I WILL NOT shop at NAPA because they left! That's Not standing behind your team in anyway. Did DaleJR's Sponsor Run away when he admitted to spinning out? NO....It's all so DUMB!

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  47. Cheating in this sport is no big surprise. This incident brings the way NASCAR has been going down hill for quite a few years. As long as there are multiple race teams, it's gonna happen, well not as obvious as a Clint spin on orders.
    The one I feel sorry for is Martin Truex, he has gotten screwed all the way around. Hendrick whines and poof, 13th car in. Gordon did not win a race, so if you put a 13th in, why wasn't it David Ragan with one win?
    NASCAR is the biggest cheater of all - bogus debris cautions to change how the race is going or how the ending will be. WWE it has become.
    When Fox takes over, look for more and more commercials - they will need to find a way to get the money back they paid NASCAR. The split screen blows big time unless you make the racing side twice as big as the commercial or run the commercial under the the entire picture. So non-stop racing it isn't. Non-stop means no commercials to me.

    I think Mikey was being loyal - he won the Dayona 500 at the expense of his owner.

    You know it is bad when NASCAR no longer announces the attendence - well all we have to do is look at the empty seats on tv.

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  48. Anonymous7:24 PM

    I would hope that Truex will get whatever his contractual % of money for wins,etc, from MWR would have been even if he had finished 12th in the chase plus any bonus he would have been due from NAPA. It wasn't by his hand that MWR got themselves in trouble.

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  49. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Cheating and Lying may have just prt a end to MWR,That's a damn shame But Mikey has no one to blame but his damn self.I bet that wiped that stupid ass smerk of his face I just have one thing to say SEE YA!

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  50. Sorry but I think Nascar went to far. MWR was wrong, but anyone that has followed this sport know cheating has gone on since day one. First it was car parts, then its advance to this point. Yes Nascar and a vendor have spoken No More, But Nascar had allowed this to continue for a long time. Taking 50 points from the #56 was not right. That team and driver did not do anything wrong. Now besides losing a chance to be in the chase he lost his sponsor. NAPA had a 3 year extension they should honor this. Do not return at the end of that period if that is what they wish to do. GEE Nascar are you happy now. $300,000 and a 16 million plus penalties. I do not think Micheal knew of this before, but as the head of the company he is right a nd it does fall on him to make it right. Just my thoughts, Not right or wrong Just how I feel.

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  51. Anonymous7:46 PM

    As a team owner and leader, Mikey should have punished his crew chiefs before NASCAR did and it should have been severe. But he didn't, the moron actually thought it would go away or that he could get away with it. I was a Captain on the Tulsa Fire Department and if one of my firefighters did something outside of the rules and I knew it and chose not to handle the problem, then I became the one in trouble. Mikey could have head this off at the pass but he chose the stupid way out. If he would have fired his crew chiefs right off the bat, he might have been able to salvage some of his credibility, but he chose not to. Then to actually stand up and say that his team did nothing immoral and that he would have done the same thing himself. Maybe its time for him and his Sissy Duck ass to move on.

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  52. Anonymous7:48 PM

    All I can say is the whole situation sux & my heart hurts for "all" drivers concerned.

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  53. This will affect DOZENS of innocent families of the shop workers who will lose their jobs because of a lack of funding for Truex's car. And if Aarons or 5 hour follows suit, HUNDREDS could be affected.


    Shame on Michael Waltrip for what this will do to his employees. He tried to grab the brass ring with an extension of his hand, but in the end lost it all.



    I think he needs to go, period. Until he does, NASCAR will suffer.

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  54. Anonymous8:18 PM

    I don't feel Carl Edwards should have won the race at Richmond, in the last laps of the race Carl Jump started and ended up winning, the race should have immediately been stopped and made him go to the end of the pack, they did it to Jimmy Johnson at Dover in June so why wasn't it done to him, Nascar also has double standards. What's good for goose is also good for the gander. No I'm am not a Jimmy Johnson fan, but what's fair is fair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But if you listen to the Hendrick Haters they will scream at the top of their lungs that NASCAR favors the Hendrick Cars!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:22 AM

      Well when Brian France unilaterally decides to put Hendrick's FOURTH car in the chase, what are we supposed to think?

      Delete
  55. Anonymous9:11 PM

    Sad for a lot of people in the MWR organization. Several mistakes, big losses, reputations tarnished, and a tough road ahead. I hope they are able to regain the financial support lost and get back to what's important, racing. Many are torching MWR right now, I can't imagine what they are going through and hope they have friends that are standing by them.
    Good luck to them all!

    Charles Utts

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  56. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Mikey was knuckle deep in this from the itching get go!

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  57. Anonymous9:26 PM

    AMEN! Well said! Thank you!

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  58. Anonymous9:31 PM

    the 48 so called cheated 1st AND CAUSED ALL THIS w/ 50 laps to go w/ 11 cars on the lead lap to help 24 back on the lead lap and PLANNED ON IT ALL DAY and u bought it HOOK LINE and SINKER

    88 so called cheated the next race SLOWING UP TACKING 15K BLOWING THE GRAP OUT OF HIS ENGINE in front of Clint Bowyer to HELP 24 GET HIS LAP BACK AGAIN

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  59. There were many times before this that drivers or teams did something 'unfair' to gain position or win a race and that somehow this is all new because teams are bigger? Did you just now start to watch racing? This is total mismanagement on the part of NASCAR. It was questionable about the spin. But they take a stand and use the specific rule about deliberately causing a caution. As for Newman, tough. Do a good job of pitting and you won't come out 3rd. Anything could've caused a caution. The pitting was very legal. It was a strategy. For NASCAR and teams to cry 'unfair' makes them all look less like a sport and more like kids on a playground and the teacher watching over them. If NASCAR wants to change things then write a rule like every other sport does. The analogy of the 'Black Sox' is totally off base. That was off the field betting and not playing to gain everyone money. This was strategy within the 'game' of racing to make the 'playoffs'. No different than walking the home run hitter with the bases loaded to get to the weak hitter. What teams and fans should be worried about is that NASCAR is making completely arbitrary decisions to make the outcome of the race or chase the way they want.

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  60. Anonymous10:08 PM

    There were many times before this that drivers or teams did something 'unfair' to gain position or win a race and that somehow this is all new because teams are bigger? Did you just now start to watch racing? This is total mismanagement on the part of NASCAR. It was questionable about the spin. But they take a stand and use the specific rule about deliberately causing a caution. As for Newman, tough. Do a good job of pitting and you won't come out 3rd. Anything could've caused a caution. The pitting was very legal. It was a strategy. For NASCAR and teams to cry 'unfair' makes them all look less like a sport and more like kids on a playground and the teacher watching over them. If NASCAR wants to change things then write a rule like every other sport does. The analogy of the 'Black Sox' is totally off base. That was off the field betting and not playing to gain everyone money. This was strategy within the 'game' of racing to make the 'playoffs'. No different than walking the home run hitter with the bases loaded to get to the weak hitter. What teams and fans should be worried about is that NASCAR is making completely arbitrary decisions to make the outcome of the race or chase the way they want.

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  61. andyb2001@mchsi.com10:26 PM

    I have a question for you Moody. How much of the punishment levied by NASCAR to MWR was predicated on 'the spin'? My opinion: Had the 'spin' not taken place, pulling the 15 and 55 down pit road to advance the points position of the 56 becomes a lot less flagrant. I see 'the spin' as the next step in the evolution of points manipulation. Clearly a line was crossed, but I believe that line has been very blurry for years. NASCAR said, at first, they had no reason to suspect any wrongdoing. But clearly they saw the 15 and 55 on pit road in the final laps. But they didnt suspect anything until they reviewed the radio communications? I believe that even though they said they didnt have any proof that 'the spin' was on purpose and they couldnt directly punish it, it factored very heavily in their sentencing.

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  62. It's sad to see how low folks go to respond to the pressures of making the Chase! But overall, what is the difference between these actions and spotters being told to tell their drivers to move out of the way so the lead car doesn't get held up which might allow the 2nd place car to catch him, and maybe pass him?! Isn't that a way to manipulate the outcome of a race? Why should some cars roll over and 'play dead' just so the leader can breeze by rather than use his head to maneuver past the lapped cars? The lapped cars are obviously maintaining speed or they would be black flagged. IJS

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:26 AM

      Hit the nail on the head there!

      Delete
  63. A great post. As a "true lover" of the sport of stock car racing, I have cringed so many times the past two weeks I have lost count.

    Kudos to NAPA for taking the high road. They were thrown into the middle of this firestorm through no fault of their own and they took decisive action. I firmly believe sincere contrition from MWR in the beginning would have drastically changed the repercussions of their actions.

    “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.” ~Beverly Sills

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  64. Anonymous11:46 PM

    Because NAPA decided not to stand by Truex who is completely innocent in this entire thing they will never see another dime of my money. After reading this post I am also considering cancelling my SiriusXM subscription because the only reason I had it was to listen to NASCAR radio and it looks like I will no longer be doing that. NAPA's decision has an impact on an innocent driver and an innocent crew and in my view that lessens their integrity more than had they kept their sponsorship with Truex. Auto Zone has just gained a new customer and NASCAR may have just lost a fan.

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  65. Anonymous12:03 AM

    Hear, hear Moody. Correct on all points. That NAPA logo would look great on Kurt Busch's new ride over at SHR next season!

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  66. Anonymous2:53 AM

    Apparently NAPOA has more integrity than Lowes. How many times has the 48 team been penalized for cheating? Yet Lowes still sponsors them. Kind of a double standard there, if you ask me. I don't think what happened with the 55 car is any worse than letting a teammate by to gain a point for leading a lap. In my opinion, they should quit giving a point for leading a lap. Just give points for position in the race, leading the most laps and maybe a point for the pole. I think NAPA screwed MWR and I will never buy anything from them again.

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  67. You know how there are those one or two kids I school that ruin something for the whole class? That's basically what happened to Truex. And he raced Jeff Gordon straight up, fair and square and really doesn't deserve any of this.

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  68. Anonymous3:17 AM

    I am sick to death of this social media instant guilty crap. Half of the whiners do a diservice to folks trying to understand what happend, more likely what DID NOT HAPPEN. I for one will not step foot in a NAPA store, shame on them for caving to a mob mentality. What numbers can they produce in a month or two to directly say (if they didn't drop MWR), see our numbers are off due the the MWR racing "incident", I say bull!!! I wasn't a fan of MWR before but I respected Napa for supporting Nascar and one of its teams. This whole business has left a huge sour pit in my stomach. The people making the noise, really don't know racing. Shame on them, effect change for the good, not because you are screaming into the night and don't know what the hell you are raging about. For all you people on your high moral horse...just wait. I dare say some of you are pissed because you might have seen Jeff G. on a TV show and you thought he was "nice"..this is the type of fan Nascar wants? Shame on Nascar. The Kardashian mentality is alive and well with alot of folks who claim to know racing, all 15 minutes worth, and Nascar caved. Nascar is loving this, it deflects attention away from them as to what they have been doing forever..manipulation! This could be your team by mob decree, all you screaming for the heads in this incident..I look forward to your comments in the future, because this WILL happen to your team or who you think is cute..this month.

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  69. Anonymous3:42 AM

    I do not think Napa did anything remotely in the ballpark in regards to "Integrity", I feel it saw a way out to relieve itself of the big crybabies, they caved to a mob mentality. I found their actions, not to MY liking and I will not shop at their store, and this I do mean. The sponsor's pulling the freight was going to bite all in the butt one day, and this will have adverse far reaching consequences for our sport, lets see what the pitchfork and righteous sayeth then.

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  70. Thanks Dave. Yours is the first article to question the "apologies" of Michael Waltrip. Even in his statement yesterday he only apologized for the lines that NASCAR decided they crossed. That is not an admission or an apology. It is actually a direct challenge to the authority of NASCAR. In essence, what Mr Waltrip has said is "we didn't do anything wrong; they (NASCAR) said we did something wrong." Give me a break!

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  71. Anonymous7:41 AM

    Moving aside to let a teammate get a point for leading a lap happens in just about every race. The points given by teammates in race #1, #2, #3...count the same as the points in the last race before the chase. They are exactly the same.

    Is NASCAR outlawing the move aside to lead the race deal that happens every week?

    I think Michael Waltrip is totally unethical. But unfortunately, what they did WAS NOT against the rules. Unethical...Absolutely. BUT IT WAS NOT CHEATING!

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  72. Anonymous8:16 AM

    I think NAPA should become the new title sponsor of the Nationwide Series...The NAPA Auto Parts Series....has a nice ring to it.

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  73. NASCARJeff8:17 AM

    I don't always agree with Dave Moody but I will on his thoughts..that being said I wonder if since NAPA bailed on MWR is 5 Hour Energy and Arron's feeling the heat too?

    It's a crap shoot, if they stay with MWR they are seen as companies that condone cheating. If they leave then its is back to building a relationship with another team and driver.

    I myself thing both 15 Hour and Arron's can do better.

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  74. NAPA has been far more loyal than Waltrip ever deserved, being a one-trick pony as a driver for his whole career, and I wonder if this was just a great way to get out of an expensive arrangement.

    It's amazing they never jumped to a top driver in need of sponsorship (Kenseth being one before he joined JGR) and we should all hope, for NASCAR's sake, that they don't leave the sport entirely.

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  75. I feel that when you catch a criminal, you punish the criminal... not fine the family....the driver, the crew chief, and spotter of the #15 are the criminals... MWR is the family

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  76. Anonymous9:20 AM

    Well thought out commentary. I'm guessing that neither MWR nor NASCAR thought that anything would come of the collusion. After all, NASCAR fans are accused all the time of being conspiracy theorists.

    We've seen teams over the years, trade the lead in order to get those all important bonus points and NASCAR has lent its own hand when it comes to manipulating races by forcing a restart to get an "exciting" finish when it wanted one. MWR just took it that one step further and in a race where there was so much focus on the results. As you pointed out, Dave, this is no longer shade tree mechanics and this is no longer NASCAR where it's a regional sport. With raceview, fans able to listen on the scanners and social media where EVERYONE, not just the media, can chime in immediately, well, it's a lot harder to sweep those cookie crumbs away. I never thought it was just Ty Norris's decision, Waltrip can play the goofball, but it's his company and I never believed that whole "gee, we didn't know a thing".

    I'm sorry for Truex and Vickers, too. They punished the wrong people - it should be Bowyer who is on the sidelines since he was the most "active" participant on the track. I'm glad NAPA took a stand on this since Toyota's comments make me believe that they are fine with what was done and are a "win at any cost" organization - just don't get caught.

    I also agree that the whole "give 100%" thing is silly. How do they determine that? You can't quantify that. Is NASCAR going to penalize the start & park teams?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:20 PM

      I believe it was just Ty Norris' split second decision to bring the 55 in. I've been a spotter. Up there you have more instant information because you can see it play out in front of you, most times all the way around the track. I feel for him, he saw an opportunity to help his whole team and he took it. That's not to say he didn't regret it after doing it. But I can understand his FIRST reaction, and sometimes you can't take it back. After my spotter gig, I was working for a race series. At the Nashville SuperSpeedway I was opening and closing pit road. One instance, I technically opened pit road at the right time. But due to certain circumstances I put a lot of cars at a disadvantage. As soon as I put the green flag up I knew I shouldn't have. But too late to change it. Since it was in the middle of the race I'll never know how it may affected any given team by the end, but I may have affected the outcome of the race, and that is something that can eat at you for a long time. But, that being said, my bosses gave me the butt-chewing I deserved, but didn't ask me to turn in my uniform. Once I proved myself, again, I moved up to more and more responsibility, again, and was quite happy where I was when I had to leave due to health issues. Split-second decisions are never always going to turn out right. With more experience you only improve your chances of being right, but it never guarantees 100% accuracy. Also, it shouldn't negate all the good one has done in the past and could do in the future. Ty held a high position in RCR for a long time before going to MWR. He's a very smart person and done a lot for the sport. One time he makes a call to help his team without realizing right away how badly it could affect others, and people are ready to hang him, and everyone else for any little thing. It wasn't murder! It was an ill advised attempt to do what it took to improve his driver's, owner's, sponsor's, and team's position for the future. Who hasn't made a bad investment in their future?

      Delete
  77. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Dave,

    Great commentary! I do not feel sorry for MWR. They showed total disregard for the sport, sponsors, and fans. It is a shame for NAPA and Martin. Hopefully, NAPA can develop a new relationship with a more deserving team. NAPA is a true, rare gem of a sponsor!

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  78. Anonymous11:51 AM

    Sometimes I think NASCAR and the fans have an inferiority complex.
    Do people not think of baseball as a real sport now because of the steroid problems, is football not a real sport because of their scandals (and they have had a lot)? People who think NASCAR is similar to WWF, thought that before, they will always think that way. We the fans and you, the media need to let this go, they cheated, we all know they cheated, people cheat sometimes when the stakes are high. How do we know MWR hadn't had an ultimatum from NAPA, either get that car in the Chase or we will have to look for a team that can? That doesn't make it NAPA's fault, but it might give some insight into why they pushed the envelope. Please try to remember car owners are hard to come by, don't try to run them out of business.

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  79. Anonymous1:02 PM

    I don't agree with the comparison between MWR and the Black Sox. Neither Bowyer, Vickers or Truex benefited monetarily from this. Now you can make the case that the MWR management was trying to benefit but this was not cooked up by any one of those drivers. They were following the orders of the manager and his orders were to "take one for the team" basically. somewhat along these same lines, what ever happened to the Lagano/Gilliland incident? Has NASCAR just swept all that under the rug or looked the other way as they have so many other incidents? Yes, changes need to be made and stiffer penalties involved but until NASCAR treat each and every driver as well as each and every team equally, nothing will change. A good start for that is laying out what type of penalties will be evoked for each basic type of infraction.

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  80. "Now, it’s the widespread collusion of a multi-car team to twist the outcome of a race in a teammate’s favor"

    Now? What about 1995 when Hendrick entered a 4th car in the final race at Atlanta to secure Jeff Gordon's first title with Jeff Purvis at the wheel? What about drivers who failed to make races, but bought a ride in an independent team's car so they could earn at least some points? I could go on and on. Actions like this didn't alter the outcome of the points at the end of the year? Nonsense. Racers have bent rules and found ways to get around rules since day one. Why? To gain points, to gain wins. .

    NASCAR wanted a playoff scenario like the NFL and now they have one. Do you think in the NFL if the quarterback takes a knee with over a minute on the clock it's manipulating the game? It's strategy, like it or not it's part of the game. Gordon, Logano, Newman and all other drivers had all year to secure a spot in the chase. They didn't and got beat by a strategy in one race and the NASCAR world is on end. Drivers never win races on their own anymore anyway. It's engineers on laptops computing strategies.

    Furthermore, a majority of a sponsor's increase in sales comes from a consumer liking the face and name attached to it. Michael Waltrip has been the face of NAPA since his initial day in Cup at DEI. Those same people will still love Michael no matter what and support whatever product is on the 56 car in the future as well. For NAPA's sake, I believe they better show up at Daytona in 2014 on the 88 car in some fashion if at all possible. After all, Dale Sr brought NAPA to the truck series in 1996 and through the ranks to Cup. So I see the Earnhardt combination being a help to their brand.

    Bottom line, Michael Waltrip has become the scapegoat for NASCAR as a result of all the media attention. It's sad. As a person who has been involved in racing from local levels to NASCAR it's sad to see the state of NASCAR these days, but it's what they wanted.

    If you want the best man to win again. Run time trials, run (4) 25 lap heats, a 10 lap last chance, and a 150 lap feature with a break at lap 75. Attendance would increase and NASCAR would be exciting again. Until then, visit your local dirt track for some real racing.

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  81. When Mikey won two Daytona 500's with their logo on the hood it's a safe bet nobody at NAPA cared how he got there. I wish one of these so called "expert" sports writers had the brass to put NAPA on the spot and make them accept some responsibility related to the contract demands that made this kinda thing the norm years and years ago. Don't act shocked at the same time your telling everybody what a NASCAR expert you are.

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  82. SnowdogBob2:20 PM

    Maybe NAPA and Truex will both end up the same place (Furniture Row)...i'm sure Roush (and others) started calling NAPA and the other MWR sponsors as soon as this started to ask "did you want to talk about any future plans?"

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  83. Anonymous2:35 PM

    Any idea of what Fox will do about MW. This has to be the biggest conflict of interest ever. No current driver or team owner should be a paid or unpaid regular television or radio commentator period. It's even worse to have DW and MW there.

    Pressure Fox for NO Waltrips at all or No MW period.

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  84. Anonymous4:56 PM

    I can't help but wonder if Toyota could have played a part. They have been getting some helpful cautions the last two or three years

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  85. Anonymous7:50 PM

    The Renault Formula One crash controversy, dubbed Crashgate by some in the media,[1][2] is a sporting scandal perpetrated by the Renault F1 team who ordered Nelson Piquet, Jr. to crash deliberately during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, in order to gain a sporting advantage for his Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso.[3]

    On 28 September 2008, on the fourteenth lap of the Singapore race, the Renault R28 driven by Piquet crashed into the circuit wall at turn seventeen, necessitating a safety car deployment. This allowed the other Renault driver, Fernando Alonso, to make an early pitstop and subsequently gain the advantage to win the race after starting 15th on the grid. Piquet described his crash at the time as a simple mistake.

    After being dropped by the Renault team following the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Piquet alleged that he had been asked by the team to deliberately crash to improve the race situation for Alonso, sparking an investigation of Renault F1 for race fixing by Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the Formula One governing body. After an investigation, Renault F1 were charged with conspiracy on 4 September, and were to answer the charge on 21 September 2009.

    On 16 September Renault stated that they would not contest the charges, and announced that the team's managing director, Flavio Briatore, and its executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, had left the team.

    On 21 September it was announced that the Renault F1 team had been handed a disqualification from Formula One, which was suspended for two years pending any further comparable rule infringements. Briatore was suspended from all Formula One events and FIA-sanctioned events indefinitely, whilst Symonds received a five-year ban.[4][5] Their bans were subsequently overturned by a French court, although they both agreed not to work in Formula One or FIA-sanctioned events for a specified time as part of a later settlement reached with the governing body.[6][7]
    Contents, its happened before and the fall out is huge.

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  86. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Boyer didn't sound sad or whatever when he was issued the "itch it"..... he was ready and willing and followed through. Listen to how Vickers sounds when he's told to pit, that is someone that is suprised and not to crazy about having to pit. Boyer did it, he should own it. And he also should be able to move on in time without this being something that hangs around his neck. He finished 2nd in points last year brought along a great sponser, he could have very well said "can't do that.." to his crew chief, he's their star driver.

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  87. Anonymous9:46 PM

    Be shocked if NAPA stayed with Truex. Let see them go to RCR and Dillion in the #3 car, that would be some camera time...

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    1. Anonymous3:09 PM

      If Dillon/Childress race the #3 in the Cup Series, expect a RIOT. That number belongs to ONE MAN ONLY.

      Delete
  88. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Man, there sure are a lot of black helicopters flying around these days.

    I couldn't agree with you more, Dave.

    Indiana Rick

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  89. What truly amazes me is the total lack of any sense of fair play or justice by MWR, Bowyer, Mikey, and many of their fans. The fact that NAPA said enough is enough and punished them by leaving is a wake up call to the sport. Stop blaming the Sponsor for a choice made by the team.

    NAPA did not spin the 15, they also did not call the 55 into the pits for no reason (If Vickers had to ask if there was a tire going down then there was no tire going down. He would have felt it before Lie Norris could see it from the spotters stand.) other then to make sure Truex and Logano advanced. NAPA would have paid a several million dollar bonus for the 56 to be in the chase yes, but to try and blame them for the cheating is ridiculous. Before you blame NAPA perhaps you should look towards the manufacturer. From the earlier engine issues at JGR they realize then can get away with certain things and like any child or childlike entity they are going to test the limits of what can and can not be done.

    If the fans do not see what happened for what it was, a conspiracy to put certain drivers in the chase and keep other drivers out of the chase, then you are not true racing fans but fans of a brand, driver, team only.

    It is shameful of the so called race fans to accept any conduct that deliberately and unfairly alters the outcome of any "Sports" Event of any type. This is Professional Sports, anyone that does something like this should pay dearly, be heavily sanctioned, and/or be banned from the sport, period.

    I like Martin Truex Jr. and it is sad that in all this mess his Team owner, Team Executives, and Teammates created he has to deal with the majority of the backlash from it. I hope he finds a team that is able that does not have these type of issues and NAPA stays with him with that team. I would be elated if Martin found his way back into a Chevy.

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  90. Anonymous3:06 PM

    NAPA's decision was dumb. Race teams, since the invention of the radio, have been doing this. Of course you help a teammate any way, bar just plumb crashing into somebody, you can. Grow up NAPA. And as for you Moody, get off your PC soapbox, you ain't winnin' any fans.

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  91. Anonymous10:43 PM

    My biggest problem with NASCAR is their inability to make the right call at the right time. The previous year when Paul Menard intentionally wrecked his race car under the same circumstances. NASCAR did not say a damn thing. Now when you allow that kind of behavior to go unpunished what the hell did you think was going to happen when Richmond came back around the night before the Chase is set. Hey NASCAR wake the hell up and stop a problem before it ever gets to that point. The big difference this year is it ended up effecting Hendrick and Hendrick runs NASCAR period.

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