By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports activities NASCAR Author
INDIANAPOLIS — Joe Gibbs Racing determined to have a bit of show-and-tell within the NASCAR Cup Collection storage six days after it had a race-winning automotive and a runner-up automotive disqualified postrace at Pocono.
Simply sitting by the Denny Hamlin hauler was a nostril with some vinyl tape (generally often known as helicopter tape) strategically positioned within the corners by the place it could connect to the splitter.
It was the piece that price Hamlin the win at Pocono, in keeping with JGR. NASCAR would not go look to confirm and possibly wasn’t all that happy that JGR was parading its unlawful nostril for everybody to see.
Sitting outdoors a Joe Gibbs Racing hauler in Indianapolis, this exhibit is outwardly from the 11 automotive at Pocono.
JGR’s motivation may have come from a number of areas:
- It wished to indicate simply how little was accomplished to the nostril of the automotive, making an attempt to make some extent that even it was unlawful, it wasn’t a disqualification-worthy offense.
- It wished to indicate different groups what JGR did so they do not make the identical mistake.
- It wished to indicate that it was being clear on the way it violated the foundations.
There is no doubt that having these items of tape helped drag or downforce within the automotive — that they had been placed on the automotive to assist with the dealing with. However even opposing crew chiefs indicated it in all probability wasn’t the principle distinction why Hamlin and Kyle Busch completed 1-2 earlier than their disqualifications.
So the place does NASCAR go from right here? NASCAR competitors officers declined remark in the course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway weekend to debate penalties and philosophy.
NASCAR officers need not converse to get the message throughout that they’re prepared to go so far as essential to implement what they really feel are violations of the foundations.
“We have certainly seen way worse get by,” stated Hamlin crew chief Chris Gabehart. “I did not expect a DQ. … For something that small to escalate to that level, there’s no way that everybody in the garage is not terrified.”
Gabehart swears he did not even know JGR was placing that tape on the vehicles, one thing that appears exhausting to consider.
“I am embarrassed to say, but it’s factually so, I, nor none of my counterparts [as crew chiefs], knew it was on the car,” he stated. “This is a sport that takes thousands of man-hours a week by hundreds of people to put a car on the track any given Sunday.
“And if I restrict us to the purpose during which I must know the whole lot about each nut and bolt, [our] 11 workforce will not be the winningest workforce within the final three-and-a-half years.”
With the new Next Gen car, NASCAR has said it would be diligent when it comes to rule enforcement because the parts and pieces come from single-sourced vendors and cannot be altered.
How will Chase Elliott get the trophy from Denny Hamlin?
The disqualifications at Pocono made Chase Elliott the winner. Nevertheless it doesn’t sound like Elliott is focused on asking Denny Hamlin for the trophy.
That resulted within the first Cup winner disqualification in 62 years in addition to 100-point penalties (plus 10 playoff factors) to Brad Keselowski earlier this 12 months and Michael McDowell in simply the previous week.
“It’s excessive for what it was,” Busch stated. “But I get the process of this car and making sure the example is out there, and they did the same thing with Brad’s team and [McDowell’s] team.”
Hamlin, who additionally owns two Cup vehicles, gave an “is what it is” kind of reply. He stated he wasn’t up in arms over the violations and JGR should not have accomplished it if it broke the foundations. He simply is aware of that it wasn’t an enormous deal when it got here to figuring out the ending order.
“I thought we had one of those Richard Petty big engines in the car or something, but not this time,” Hamlin stated. “It was a piece of tape, but they’re pretty [insistent] that that’s the way that they want it starting with this new car.
“I simply hope that it is constant for everyone regardless of who wins a race.”
Hamlin said it was his understanding that the JGR violation was for something added to a stock part, and that the Keselowski and McDowell penalties were for modifying a stock part, which meant more points and suspensions (they couldn’t be disqualified because their violations were found a couple of days later at NASCAR’s tech center).
Other teams certainly took notice, although drivers said they don’t get into the details of what their teams are doing to push the gray areas of the rule book in hopes of leniency in the tech bay or NASCAR admitting it didn’t violate the rules — and then create a new rule to make sure it would in the future.
Owners certainly don’t want to be penalized. And they’re not going to throw stones.
“I used to be simply glad it wasn’t us,” said car owner Roger Penske, who also owns the IndyCar Series. “We have to have a degree taking part in area that we’re all racing on. It is the identical for all of the groups and all of the drivers.
“I guess I take my hat off to NASCAR, but they’ve got to be sure it’s level across the entire organization and industry. But we’re glad we’re not involved in something like that. We’ve had our time, too. So we have to sit back in the back row on this one.”
Roger Penske on JGR disqualifications
Roger Penske reacts to the Joe Gibbs Racing disqualifications at Pocono.
JGR stated it is going to change procedures to attempt to keep away from any points sooner or later. The truth that the workforce didn’t enchantment the penalty reveals it acknowledges that it was within the unsuitable.
However that does not imply JGR engineers will not spend as many hours going over wind tunnel information and operating simulations to attempt to get higher.
“It’s all of the details collectively that makes you better than everybody else,” Gabehart stated. “So in case you requested me did that one element make the distinction? The reply is, ‘No.’
“Nevertheless it’s what that one element represents that completely does make the distinction between profitable and dropping.”
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Thinking out loud
When NASCAR issued Ross Chastain a 30-second penalty at the end of the race, it was the obvious call.
The rule can be murky, but there’s no way a driver should be allowed to cut the course and advance his position.
Penalizing Ross Chastain was the right call
Quick Ideas: Bob Pockrass says it was an apparent name for NASCAR to penalize Ross Chastain for lacking the primary flip.
Chastain was operating fourth on the ultimate restart and after utilizing an entry highway to keep away from Flip 1, got here out second, side-by-side with Tyler Reddick.
You possibly can’t go two drivers by reducing the course. That is unnecessary. NASCAR issued a 30-second penalty.
NASCAR’s guidelines for the race was that in case you missed Flip 1, it could be a stop-and-go penalty. However that is a judgment name as a result of drivers will be pushed out of the racing groove.
Even when Chastain may argue he was pressured out (he stated he was by no means going to make the flip), he definitely improved his place, and there isn’t any means NASCAR may let that occur.
NASCAR would in all probability be higher off to have a selected rule for Flip 1 subsequent 12 months.
Stat of the day
Tyler Reddick is the one repeat winner up to now six highway course races. The earlier 5 races had been gained by Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suárez and Reddick.
They stated it
“All people do at the end of these things — just dive in there and wreck you. I don’t know who shoved who, and I don’t care.” — Ryan Blaney on the IMS end
Bob Pockrass has spent a long time overlaying motorsports, together with the previous 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports activities in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting Information, NASCAR Scene journal and The (Daytona Seaside) Information-Journal. Observe him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. On the lookout for extra NASCAR content material? Join the FOX Sports activities NASCAR E-newsletter with Bob Pockrass!
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