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DATE News (chronologically)
09/18/06
nascar
Harvick cheats way to Nextel Cup win UPDATE #2 SPEED issues the following response to statements made by NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing regarding a story filed by SPEED reporter Bob Dillner during the Sept. 17 SPEED Report.

"SPEED reporter Bob Dillner has a strong record of solid reporting from the NASCAR garage; so there is no rational reason for us to consider that the events and conversations he related to SPEED viewers are anything other than the truth," said Chris Long, SPEED Executive Producer for NASCAR programming.

[Editor's Note: OK, Someone is lying.]

09/18/06 NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter on Monday called a Speed TV report claiming the sanctioning body found issues with the cars of Nextel Cup Series winner Kevin Harvick or his Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton "sheer fantasy."

Speed TV reporter Bob Dillner reported late Sunday at New Hampshire that NASCAR officials had an issue with the wheel rims of both Harvick and Burtons' Chevrolets.

In the report, Dillner said, "The team apparently manipulated that rim to act as a bleeder valve to release air pressure from that rim. In English, it was performance advantage for the RCR team."

Dillner went on to say the teams didn't break any rule, but "have been told not to do it again."

Both NASCAR and RCR officials on Monday strongly denied the story.

Hunter denied anyone with either team was admonished about any questionable part and said both cars "completely passed post race inspection." NASCAR officials Sunday night also announced all cars had passed post race inspection.

RCR spokesman David Hart also denied either team had been directed by NASCAR not to bring a questionable part back to the race track. More at ThatsRacin.com

09/18/06 As darkness falls upon New Hampshire International Speedway, we have learned that there was an issue with the winning car of Kevin Harvick and also his teammate, Jeff Burton, in postrace tech. That issue surrounded the actual rim of the race car. The team apparently manipulated that rim to act as a bleeder valve to release air pressure from that rim. In English, it was a performance advantage for the RCR team.

Now, it was not against anything in the rule book so there won't be any fines or points penalties later on this week, but they have been told not to do it again. So the question is: will it ruin or hurt the performance of the team in the last nine races of the Chase?

Dillner and Tribune Newspaper Group motor sports writer Ed Hinton also discussed this performance advantage with Dave Despain on SPEED's 'Wind Tunnel' (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET).

Bob Dillner: A bunch of interesting stuff happened in post-race tech, Dave.

David Despain: Tell all. I understand there's an issue for the winner?

Bob Dillner: Yeah, there was a little bit of an issue. Nothing will come of it because it's one of those patented gray areas that we always talk about, but what the No. 29 and No. 31 teams — and remember, Kevin Harvick if I could just mention actually won the race so we're talking about the winner of the race — did is they were trying to manipulate the rules around the actual rims that the tire goes around.

In short-track racing, we know all about the super late models, whether it's on dirt or asphalt. You have something that's called a bleeder valve, which releases the pressure to help the guys get the proper pressure that they need. Well, you can't use a bleeder valve in NASCAR Cup competition, but what the team did here is they laser-cut the rim to .003 of an inch in one part of the tire. That actually allowed some air to escape from the rim, and it was a performance advantage basically for the No. 29 and the No. 31 teams. There's been a lot of talk this year about teams doing this sort of thing in the garage area, but nobody was ever caught with it.

Today, it's not in the rule book. It's not a deal where it's illegal or whatever. It's a very gray area deal, and basically they were told, "Hey, let's not do that again." But you've got to wonder how these teams are going to perform now that they're not allowed to do it in the final couple races.

David Despain: So they're checking the wheels. No penalty, but don't bring it back next week. Is that the bottom line?

Bob Dillner: Exactly. I've got to applaud the RCR guys because when you can push the gray areas like they did and get away with it — who knows how long they've been doing it — it's to their advantage. And that's what this game of NASCAR is all about so they did a darn good job. But NASCAR did see something that they didn't like tonight and told them, "Hey guys, let's not do that again." Because you think about the pressure situation. We all know as the tires get hotter, it builds pressure. And if you have a .003 of an inch little slot there, it's going to release some of that pressure to the team's liking.

David Despain: Bob Dillner, live from Loudon. Any reaction, Ed Hinton?

Ed Hinton: Yeah, it's very similar... Last year, (No. 48 crew chief) Chad Knaus had some really neat shocks. They took them away from him just before the Chase. (NASCAR said,) "Not illegal, just don't bring them back. We don't understand them." All it does is gut and disembowel your effort for the Chase. That's all.

David Despain: You think Harvick's hurt by this?

Ed Hinton: Oh, he and Burton are very definitely hurt just like Johnson was hurt last year when they took their shocks away.  Fox Sports

[Editor's Note: No surprise here.  NASCAR is cheaters haven.  At least one is caught every week.  Some were saying that Harvick must have gotten "the call" lately after a poor season because all of a sudden they are fast.  When rumors surfaced the team is losing GM Goodwrench as a sponsor "the call" rumors surfaced because it was thought that the team needed to start winning to either retain GM or sign a replacement, and lo and behold they started winning races.    Now comes word their speed may be as a result of cheating.  Only in NASCAR.....]

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