More cheating exposed in Richmond (3rd Update) UPDATE #3 Following a comprehensive review of all available audio and video communications from last Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, along with interviews with team personnel, NASCAR announced Friday the following decision:
- Both the Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing).
- A 13th car - the #24 - would be added to this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
"Based on all of our findings this week, we determined both Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations would be placed on probation for the remainder of this season," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Additionally, based upon the totality of our findings, to be totally fair and equitable we decided that adding a 13th car to this year's Chase is the appropriate action.
Beginning with our decision Monday, which resulted in an unprecedented team penalty, and continuing with further examination of actions involving two other race teams, it is clear to us that attempts to manipulate the results impacted the Chase field.
"The integrity of our sport remains the cornerstone of NASCAR, and our actions this week speak to our commitment to ensure a level playing field for all competitors."09/12/13 Thursday morning release from NASCAR: "NASCAR is continuing to gather all the facts from last Saturday nights NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. NASCAR will have no further comment until all the facts have been examined. "
Additionally, NASCAR will conduct a mandatory meeting with drivers, owners, crew chiefs and other team personnel [Saturday at 3:00pm/et] to address this issue moving forward. NASCAR
NASCAR is "investigating communications between" the teams of drivers Joey Logano and David Gilliland during Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Int'l Raceway, according to Jeff Gluck of USA TODAY. Penske Racing's Logano, who got into the Chase for the Sprint Cup "with the help of Michael Waltrip Racing's cars, may also have been aided by Front Row Motorsports' Gilliland." Gilliland "may have given up his position to let Logano pass him in the final laps."
From radio communications between Gilliland and Logano's teams, it "seems Gilliland's spotter is passing along a request to let Logano pass him on the closing laps while Ryan Newman was leading the race." Logano "passed Gilliland on a restart and finished 22nd." Gilliland's spotter following the race said, "Good job, good job, man. Hopefully we'll get something out of that." But Penske Racing President Tim Cindric last night said that there "was no conspiracy."
Cindric: "There was no bribe. Roger Penske is not involved in trying to manipulate the outcome of a race or what have you. In fact, the first time Roger heard any of this stuff was this afternoon" USA TODAY
09/11/13 Penske Racing may have cut a deal with Front Row Motorsports in the closing laps at Richmond for track position to help get Joey Logano into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
In radio communications reviewed Wednesday by The Associated Press for Front Row driver David Gilliland, his spotter informs the team of a request to let Logano pass him in the final laps of Saturday night's race.
Fox Sports also reported improper communications between the teams of Logano and Gilliland.
NASCAR tweeted a response to the reports Wednesday afternoon:
"NASCAR is aware of reports about the #22 and #38 radio communications at Richmond International Raceway and is looking into it, but has yet to see anything in full context that requires any action," the tweet read.
Front Row spokesman Jeff Dennison said the team did not heed a Penske request to give Logano track position before the final restart.
Logano was trying to claim a spot in the 12-driver Chase field. Both Penske and Front Row are Ford teams and thus considered partners.
A voice on the radio, believed to be crew chief Frank Kerr, asks who the request is coming from. The spotter replies: "We've got the big dog and all his cronies."
Kerr then says: "Travis knows what I've been asking for," an apparent reference to Penske Racing competition director Travis Geisler.
Logano passed Gilliland on a restart and finished 22nd, one spot ahead of Gilliland and good enough for a berth in the Chase field. Logano beat Jeff Gordon by one point for the final spot in the top 10 in the standings.
"Good job, good job, man," the spotter says after the race. "Hopefully we'll get something out of that."
Statistics analyzed by AP also show Gilliland's lap times dropped off by almost 1 second from the times he was running prior to the radio communication. Sporting News09/11/13
WHAT: Evidence of more teams involved in manipulating the outcome of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Richmond, which set the final field for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup
WHERE: NASCAR Race Hub on FOX Sports 1
WHEN: Sept. 11 at 4:30 PM ET