Home » NASCAR - Sprint Cup Series

Woody: Mechanical Malpractice In The Sprint Cup Garages?

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, August 19 2009
Tony Stewart has borrowed a lot from Hendrick Motorsports, including crew chief Darian Grubb.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tony Stewart has borrowed a lot from Hendrick Motorsports, including crew chief Darian Grubb. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Let’s see if I’ve got this straight:

Hendrick Motorsports supplies Tony Stewart with the engines that Tony uses to beat Hendrick Motorsports’ drivers.

Stewart sits atop the Sprint Cup standings and is a lock for the Chase, which means he’ll be a major threat – maybe THE major threat — to Jimmie Johnson’s bid for a record fourth-straight championship.

Stewart also regularly battles Hendrick’s three other drivers, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin, for choice finishes.

When he beats them, he does it thanks in part to a Hendrick-built motor.

I know racing is a business and I realize that Hendrick Motorsports has supplied a lot of motors for a lot of teams over the years.

But it still seems odd to aid the competition. It smacks of mechanical malpractice.

In racing, a fast car is a critical part of the equation. It’s not like football or baseball or basketball where all the teams use the same kind of ball.

Gaining a mechanical edge is part of the challenge in racing, yet having gained that edge, Hendrick Motorsports turns around and peddles it to the opposition.

I don’t know of any other sport in which one team so blatantly assists the team(s) it is trying to beat.

I used to consider stock car drivers the most competitive, victory-obsessed athletes in all of sport. I’m not so sure any more.

Remember when drivers allowed rivals to make a pass to get back on the lead lap? Now we see a driver allowing another driver to take the lead in order to get five bonus points (a teammate, granted, but a rival nevertheless.)

Seems to me these racing relationship are getting a bit too cozy.

Its fine for drivers to be best buds when the race is over, but out on the track it should be every man for himself.

I’ll never understand giving an opponent a helping hand – or, in the case of Hendrick, a helping motor.

If Stewart edges out Johnson – or Gordon or Martin – for the championship, wonder how boss Rick Hendrick will feel? Will he share the crushing disappointment of his driver, or will he praise the great job that Stewart did, thanks to his powerful Hendrick engine?

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, August 19 2009
3 Comments

3 Comments »

  • Lou says:

    Na$car is in sad shape . think bout it hendrick with 4 teams plus tony and newman , roush with 5 plus yates operation , then you have 3 teams at gibbs and rcr , it’s a lame sport that has all it’s eggs in one basket , why not make the cars and motors for all of the teams because the cars are all of the same just diffrent stickers for the head and tail lights and the name , the truck series and nationwide is great racing and both are in trouble with the trucks on life support .

    • Doobie says:

      why not make the cars and motors for all of the teams because the cars are all of the same just diffrent stickers for the head and tail lights and the name

      They tried something like that with the TRAC series several years ago, but it never got off the ground. Makes me wonder what might have been (another stock-car sanctioning body competing against NASCAR, on Bruton Smith’s tracks).

  • NotAHendrickFan says:

    Not just cars and motors, but also a great crew chief in Darian Grubb. SHR is just the 5th and 6th team in Hendrick’s stable, with Haas and Stewart getting to put their name on the title – like how Gordon “owns” the 48.

    Haas and Hendrick as partners does make sense since they have a lot in common – like being the only owners in NASCAR that have been convicted of felony fraud and conspiracy – not that fraud and conspiracy are ever alleged as issues for NASCAR. Of course Hendrick was pardoned after making a donation to Clinton, so his conviction doesn’t count anymore.