Jeff Gordon angered by MWR manipulation (Update) UPDATE Gordon "warned Wednesday that the repercussions" of MWR's manipulation of last weekend's race "are only beginning." Gordon said, "It's way beyond you and me, way beyond the sport and the fans. It reaches out much further than that. It has affected far more people than we can understand. It's going to happen again. So it has to be addressed in a big way." He added, "When the time comes, we want to see what we can do to help our teammate win the championship. The difference is there are lines that are drawn, and this crossed over the line. ... It's the integrity of the sport. What level do you go to win?"
Jeff Gordon doesn’t believe Clint Bowyer spun accidentally, and is angry over how Michael Waltrip Racing manipulated the finish of the race Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. Gordon appeared to be on his way to finishing 10th in the Sprint Cup standings when Bowyer spun with seven laps remaining in the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
|Jeff Gordon pissed|
After pit stops, three laps remained in the race and Joey Logano, thanks in part to MWR driver Brian Vickers coming down pit road, gained enough spots to knock Gordon from one of the 10 automatic Chase bids.
MWR driver Martin Truex Jr. earned the final wild-card spot that would have gone to Logano—if Logano didn’t finish in the top-10 and Ryan Newman didn’t win the race.
NASCAR officials said Monday they couldn’t conclude that Bowyer spun on purpose, but the totality of the MWR actions—including in-car radio as well as video and other technological evidence—warranted a penalty for manipulating the finish of the event.
It penalized each of the MWR drivers 50 pre-Chase points, fined the team a record $300,000 and indefinitely suspended general manager Ty Norris. Truex ended up missing the Chase, and Newman is in.
But those penalties left Gordon out, who was initially disappointed in himself for not getting the job done.
“When I found out later how they manipulated it, that was anger to a whole another level,” Gordon told reporters Wednesday prior to a charity kickball game to raise money for childhood cancer. “It’s hard to describe and it’s disappointing. You realize people all want to do things for their teammates to help them, but you also know there are certain lines that have to be drawn with that.”
Gordon said he felt he deserved to be in the Chase, and NASCAR didn’t do enough to Bowyer (whom Gordon feuded with last season). Bowyer’s 50-point penalty did not impact him because he still remained in the top-10 in the standings, and now has the same number of points he had pre-penalty because of the Chase points reset.
“I thought they got it half-right,” Gordon said. “I understand they’re in a difficult situation and we all as competitors and some of the media understand that it looks pretty obvious as to what caused that caution. It’s pretty obvious the 15 (of Bowyer) came back down pit road (after it went green), similar to what the 55 (of Vickers) did." Sporting News