(WOMR file photo)
If things have not gotten kooky enough from the fallout from the Richmond race, this afternoon, Friday, NASCAR called a press conference to make a noteworthy announcement!
In a surreal moment, NASCAR CEO Brian France announced today at Chicagoland Speedway that Jeff Gordon will be added to this year’s 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, which begins with the GEICO 400 here on Sunday.
“We’ve decided that, due to the totality of the events that were outside of Jeff Gordon’s issues, we are going to add a 13th position to the field. And Jeff Gordon will qualify for the Sprint Cup championship this year,” France said. “There were too many things that altered the event and gave an unfair disadvantage to Jeff and his team who would have qualified. I have the authority to do that and we are going to do that.
“It is an unprecedented and extraordinary thing. But it’s also an unprecedented and extraordinary set of circumstances that unfolded in multiple ways Saturday night. And we believe this is the right outcome to protect our integrity, which is the number one goal of NASCAR.”
Ryan Newman was added to the Chase field and Martin Truex Jr. was removed Monday night after it was determined that Michael Waltrip Racing manipulated the outcome of Saturday night’s Cup race in Richmond, Va.
Today’s actions stems from the belief that Front Row Motorsports driver David Gilliland intentionally slowed during the closing laps of Saturday evening’s race in Richmond to allow Penske Motorsports driver Joey Logano to pick up a single point that turned out to be the amount he needed to qualify for the Chase.
As a result, NASCAR president Mike Helton announced today that Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing will be placed on probation for the balance of the season for actions detrimental to the sport. Logano’s crew chief, Todd Gordon, was already on probation through the end of the year.
Unlike Truex, Logano will be allowed to maintain his spot in the Chase.
NASCAR president Mike Helton added that Sprint Cup owners, drivers and crew chiefs will be summoned to a meeting here on Saturday afternoon to discuss the ethics and rules of racing.
“What we’re going to do is we’re going to protect, no matter what it takes, the integrity of the sport so it will never be in question,” France said.
As I have written for the past few days, and it appears that NASCAR is listening, it is incumbent upon this sanctioning body to investigate, clarify, punish if necessary, and prevent this from ever happening aging. By doing all those things, and only then, can NASCAR protect the integrity of this sport!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!