NASCAR just can’t seem to draw the line on what is allowed when making adjustments to the race cars, and what is not. NASCAR has again has cried foul over an invisible line that just doesn’t seem to exist.
Late Saturday afternoon as the 43-car field prepared for the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Joey Logano and Brad Keselelowski were stuck in the inspection line as NASCAR poked and prodded their Penske Fords. They found adjustments on both cars in the rear-end housing . NASCAR reportedly told both Keselowski and Logano’s teams to remove the adjustment before being allowed on the track.
Why? Robin Pemberton, the Vice President of Competition for NASCAR, stated in a article on Foxnews.com that the adjustment was not in the the spirit of competition. However, they also never stated in any interview during the weekend that the adjustment to the rear-end housing was illegal or against the rules.
If that adjustment was deemed not in the spirit of competition, then what is? Chad Knaus, Crew Chief for the #48 Lowes Chevrolet, has been pushing the envelope for years, and surprisingly for the most part getting away with it. Knaus was even suspended for six races after a illegal adjustment to Jimmie Johnson’s car back in the 2012 running of the Daytona 500.
I have looked and found no specific instance of the Hendrick group getting away with any car adjustments, but Yahoo sports states:
“Johnson’s crew chief, Chad Knaus, has won five championships with one toe on that mark, and the general public is only aware of the times he’s gotten his hand slapped. Nobody has any idea how many developments or experiments or trickery by Knaus and the Hendrick group have gotten through without a mention.”
Now that’s not to say these developments or adjustment are true or false. It is just stating that there has been incidents talked about regarding this in the past. So let me ask you this, how can we have a organized sport when the rules are one way for one team and another for another team? The incident in question is believed to be that Hendrick race teams were monitoring Penske radio communications during practice runs and looking over their cars all weekend due to the fact that their starting spots were side-by-side . Not happy with what they saw (keep in mind garage gossip), Hendrick officials went to NASCAR complaining of illegal adjustments on Keselowski and Logano’s cars.
The Logano and Keselowski cars did make the race, but Logano had to start in the back of the pack due to the adjustment being removed right before the green flag. With the Sprint Cup Series heading to Kansas this week, we all know we can expect both crew chiefs to either be on probation, suspended, and/or the drivers docked points. With that being said, NASCAR needs to watch who they fine and whose adjustments they deem illegal. The last thing this sport needs is fans becoming angry and uninterested because of teams getting preferential treatment over others.