Roush calls Lee White an “ankle biting Chihuahua”

UPDATE On Friday afternoon, Lee White backpedaled.

"I don't know if the situation with the No. 99 car was intentional," White said in a statement. "And I apologize that it has come across like that. Obviously, I can't make that call. I drew the same circumstantial conclusion as others have. I trust and respect the decision NASCAR made.

"I've known Jack Roush for almost 25 years and consider us friends. . ."

03/08/08 And so the war of words continued Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Some Roush Fenway Racing executives hit the roof when the general manager of Toyota's Sprint Cup program said that the Roush team of Carl Edwards did do something to the oil tank cover in Edwards' car last week at Las Vegas because it makes the car better.

White used to work with Roush many years ago and there's little love lost between the two.

The article stated: "Lee White, GM for Toyota Racing Development, said the manufacturer's testing at wind tunnels in Germany revealed removing the cover on the oil tank (located in a steel box behind the driver's seat) resulted in 170 extra pounds of downforce, the aerodynamic measurement of keeping a car glued to the track.''

Roush was furious about White's comments: "I got woken up this morning to the news that Lee White, on behalf of Toyota, had made some disparaging remarks in USA Today. Lee White worked for me in the eighties, and I won't say more than that, but I can give you some (off-the-record) insight to Lee. Lee is a real nice guy. I respect him, but he's also a great racer and will seek any advantage that he thinks he might have an opportunity for.

"(The oil tank cover) was tight and it was secure when the race started. Sometime in that 400 miles, that thing decided to pack it in and vibrate loose. It may have been when one set of tires was on the car that was vibrating more, I have no idea. I was not complicit. Carl Edwards was not complicit and I'm going to treat Lee White and Toyota for their accusations in USA Today like they were an ankle biting Chihuahua and be done with it.''

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