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Cup Drivers Rip Into Bowyer and Childress

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, September 24 2010

Denny Hamlin took big swings at Richard Childress Racing on Friday. (File photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Dover, Del. – The zingers were flying fast and furious on Friday over NASCAR’s decision to penalize Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 team following their victory in New Hampshire last weekend.

Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress pleaded their innocence in front of a packed media center at Dover International Speedway.

But Chase for the Sprint Cup points leader Denny Hamlin wasn’t buying their argument.

In fact, Hamlin claims the No. 33 team has been pushing the tolerance envelope during much of the season.

“In the garage, everyone has known it for months,” Hamlin said. “It’s not two weeks old. This is something that’s been going on for months.

“They’ve been warned for a long time, way before Richmond. This is not something that, ‘Oh man, they just told us halfway after Richmond and going into Loudon that our car’s wrong.’

“They knew it was wrong way before that and I felt like they just, they wanted to get everything they could. What did they have to lose really? You almost can’t fault them for that.”

Bowyer discounted how a fraction of an inch in height disparity could give his car a performance advantage. Hamlin disagreed.

“You can talk about how small the thing was off and you can really try to say that 60-thousandths didn’t help him perform any better – that is a crock,” Hamlin said. “Let me tell you something. That helps a lot.

“I know when we gain five points of downforce our car runs a ton better. He wasn’t speeding on pit road by a half-a-mile per hour he was speeding by 5.5 miles-per-hour.

“They give you a grace period. NASCAR has been very, very lenient, I feel like, on this car and they’ve given those guys chances. I think that they should just be happy that they’re in the Chase at this point. They were warned and they were warned before Richmond. Everyone in the garage knows that.

“They’re the ones who wanted to press the issue and get all they could to make sure they got in the Chase. They got in it and then they were busted. They kept going with it.”

Hamlin said he was OK with getting second-place points for finishing second behind Bowyer at New Hampshire on Sunday.

“I’m not too discouraged with what we ended up with there,” Hamlin said. “But I know we were the fastest legal car.”

Kurt Busch chimed in by noting that if Bowyer’s car was near or past tolerance at Richmond the same points penalty would have knocked the No. 33 team out of the Chase.

“One of the scenarios that I looked at was if they had that car at Richmond that was questionable and if he would have been docked at Richmond 150 points, Ryan Newman would be in the Chase and not Clint Bowyer,” Busch said. “If I was (team owner) Tony Stewart, I’d be raising hell.”

Childress said he’s eager for RCR to present their case to the three-member appeal board.

“All I’m going to ask for is a fair appeal,” he said. “That’s all I want, is a fair appeal. I think in the history of RCR we’ve been to three appeals, but didn’t win any of them.”

Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, Bowyer will retain the trophy.

But if a car fails post-race tech, should the driver be stripped of the victory in the record books?

“This is what we know goes on in our sport and that’s just the way they do it,” Jeff Gordon said. “Do I agree with it or disagree with it? Gosh, I really don’t know.

“I’m sure if you ask Clint, he would probably say ‘might as well’ because the penalty is certainly very extreme. I don’t know. It seems like to me like there at least should be an asterisk next to the win.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

Jeff Hood | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, September 24 2010
8 Comments

8 Comments »

  • RubRaceRub says:

    Point is Denny is correct, and I may add very bold to stick it to an owner of a major team that one day he may want to be employed by. No other driver goin to do what he did and speak out the truth against an owner of a team. You dog the driver never the owner. For example you wont get one driver talking trash anymore about Michael Waltrip not even Bowyer would ( who knows he may need employment there someday) Bowyer wasnt the cheat. Childress and his car builders were and they know it. They never thought Bowyer would win, they thought maybe a good points day for him and NASCAR wouldnt take his car to the R&D. But damn if he won it. Denny stated the facts they cheated and he even said he dont fault them for pushing it just that they were warned not to do it and did it anyway. They were only off by 60th thousandth of an inch they were off more than that but NASCAR gives you alittle tolerance they went to that and them some more. You can see from the post No matter what was the truth you got the Dale Sr., Junior Nation, RCR, Chevy folks that will never believe in the truth cause to them the folks mentioned are all saints can never do no wrong. Gibbs does what all them do, Childress no different. They push the edge. RCR got caught, but they wernt only caught they knew better. NASCAR said they were watching and they did it anyway. lol they got balls. Denny said nothing that the other folks in the garage already knew, only Denny and Kurt said something about it. The others arnt goin to question one of NASCAR’s premier Teams, a legendary team like RCR, if they want a job latter.

  • yankeegranny says:

    Simple way to solve this. When they have the appeals hearing, the appeals board does the following; appeal DENIED, AND BY THE WAY, Clint you lose the win and need to give the trophy back. What, the appeals board doesn’t have the authority to do this? THIS IS NASCAR, BABY, THEY CAN DO ANYTHING THEY D***** WELL PLEASE. If RCR doesn’t like it, take your cars and go home, we won’t miss you a bit. Of course, that won’t happen, because NASCAR is gutless. And yes, probably Tony Stewart should be screaming because if Hamlin is correct, Newman, not Boyer, should be in the chase.

  • Robert Bates says:

    This two faced loud mouth boy would’nt be running his mouth if this was Childress and Earnhardt instead of Childress and Bowyer. Go away Hamlin, you’re not worthy to be called champion.

  • Chris says:

    I bet if they brought all 43 cars back to the r&d center, 43 cars we be found to be off on at least one measurement.
    If the car passed pre-race inspection and post race inspection at the track, then it is legal…..end of story
    How do we know Nascars templates at the track match what is used at the r&d center?
    Denny Hamlin should shut up or volunteer to have his car checked post race at the r&d center.

    • Ron says:

      Denny Hamlin has every right to rip into RCR, after all, like he said, he was the first legal car across the line. What if he loses the championship by those 20 points at New Hampshire? He should be given 1st place points, the trophy, and the win. The heck with these people who want to cheat. They need to be suspended 5 races. Maybe that would teach all of them a lesson.
      They had been warned, and RCR chose to ignore that warning. By the way, Clint Bowyer sure as heck isn’t a championship driver, and RCR is trying their best to make him one by all out cheating!

      • Brian says:

        Here is the problem though. Denny Hamlin’s car was NOT legal. His car FAILED post race inspection on the first pass (The #48 also failed post race at New Hampshire on the first pass). Hamlin is getting cocky. He flat said that when they gain 5 points of downforce their car runs better. Guess what, they gained those 5 points of downforce by manipulating the gas presures in the shocks. Oh, and guess what NASCAR did about it? Nothing. Instead they wait until Dover to hit the #5 car for failing the EXACT same inspection. So Hamlin can bad mouth RCR and Bowyer all he wants. The fact still remains that his illegal car was beaten by another car.

      • aginn says:

        What Denny should get is a fat lip. Childress has been one of the cleanest owners in the garage his entire time he has been in racing. The Gibb’s cars have been found to be illegal a couple times as well yet Richard never climbed on their backs. Denny is just a punk kid. Remember his “victory” at Pocono when he blatantly wrecked Reut’ for the win? Remember Kryle taking out Kez and then stating that with no penalties at all? Clean organization at Gibb’s? Not on a bet. Different rules for different people seems to be the norm. As I am sure you must feel is appropriate or you could never believe in the Gibb’s crowd.

  • Ron says:

    NASACAR’s integrity has been ripped to shreds! I mean who ever heard of giving an illegal car the win, just so the fans that were there could leave the track knowing who won? That is hogwash! If anybody wins, and that car is illegal then I say strip them of all the money points, and put them in the last position. Bowyer don’t deserve the trophy! It belongs to Denny Hamlin!
    NASCAR’s President Mike Helton is a freaking joke, along with Faux King Brian France. They are bringing the sport down to it’s knees, and are a laughing stock.
    You go to most any short track around the country on Saturday night, and if a driver has an illegal car, they are disqualified. NASCAR could learn a lot if they had people running the sport that knew what they were doing. Helton thinks he’s a freaking star or something. He’s more concerned with signing autographs than he is with running thee sport with integrity. Brian France doesn’t know what’s going on anymore in the sport.
    Fan’s had rather see the sport ran with some integrity, and the only way that will happen is to have somebody in charge that will enforce the rules, instead of changing the rule book before the ink has dried.
    It’s pathetic when they allow a cheating crew to bend the rules, win the race, and keep the 1st place trophy!