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NASCAR's Greasy Knoll

by Eddie Gossage | Sep 08, 2013

Greasy knoll conspiracy theorists are having a field day in NASCAR today.

Did Clint or didn't Clint, that is the question?

With nine laps remaining in last night's final "regular season" race at Richmond, Clint Bowyer spun in turn four while Ryan Newman was leading and apparently en route to both the race win and a wild card slot in The Chase. The resulting pit stops by challengers forced Newman to pit for tires, giving up the lead. A slow pit stop brought Newman back out in -- place while Carl Edwards came out with the lead. Edwards went on to win the race since only two green flag laps remained and Newman wound up missing The Chase.

So did Bowyer spin on purpose to give his Michael Waltrip Racing teammate, Martin Truex Jr., a chance to make The Chase?

Who knows?

Truex said after the race that Bowyer was a "great teammate." Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was on Bowyer's bumper when #15 spun, brought up Bowyer's erratic throttle play and braking in the turn. Kyle Petty tweeted at the time, "If it walks like a duck and spins like a duck, it's a duck." Country music superstar Blake Shelton tweeted Bowyer was, "...the definition of team player."

Social media went wild. Twittersphere sited two-way radio comments by Bowyer's spotter, who asked if it was hot in the car and said Bowyer's arm must be tired immediately before the spin. Strange comments, granted.

But some of the social media "experts" suggested the sport somehow wasn't on the up-and-up, that cheaters are rewarded. One tweeted me his eight-year old nephew said Bowyer did it on purpose, so I guess that answers that.  Many said they couldn't support a sport that allowed cheating.

Well, I don't know if Clint Bowyer spun his car inches in front of another car at 115 mph (Indy 500 champ Tony Kanaan scoffed at the idea), but I do know if that is your position you could never support any sport, yesterday or today. Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher last week said his team practiced faking injuries to get key "timeouts" without using up a precious "official" timeout. Ever watch an NBA game? I don't think they have called walking since George Mikan led the Minneapolis Lakers (that's right, Minneapolis) to the 1954 NBA title.

In competition, its a fact that people cheat. They hold on every play in the NFL. EVERY play. They foul every time down the court in the NBA and college basketball. Players on every Major League Baseball team...well, ever heard of Performance Enhancing Drugs? And Lance Armstrong, you know?

I'm not saying that makes it OK. I'm just saying don't fool yourself and point at those NASCAR boys. I don't know if Clint Bowyer spun on purpose or not. I do know all of this is circumstantial evidence and not enough to convict anyone given the rules of evidence in every U.S. court. NASCAR would punish Bowyer if they had hard-and-fast evidence. I guarantee you they are looking to find the truth. If they can, they will.

I hate it for Newman and his team. If Newman believes it to be true, justice will be served in some manner some day. That's the code of all sports.

Greasy knoll conspiracy theorists will soon be talking about a second spotter or the "patsy" pit crew member or ESPN's Zapruder film-like evidence.

Only Bowyer knows for sure and he ain't talking.

7 Comments

  1. 1 Robert Herring 09 Sep

    Justice well served!!!

    NASCAR Penalizes MWR following Richmond, Truex out of Chase, Newman in: NASCAR has issued penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing following the sanctioning bodys review of Saturdays race at Richmond International Raceway. MWR was found to have violated Section 12-4 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing). As a result, MWRs three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (#15, #55, #56) have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively.

    These point penalties are assessed following the seasons 26th regular season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Therefore, the point total for the #56 car driven by Martin Truex Jr. is reduced to 691, putting him in 17th position and eliminating him from the second Wild Card berth for the Chase field. Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 car, now moves up into the Chase as the second Wild Card participant.
    NASCAR has also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the #55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs  Brian Pattie (#15), Scott Miller (#55) and Chad Johnston (#56)  have all been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    Based upon our review of Saturday nights race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organization attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race, said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. As the sports sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that.(NASCAR)(9-9-2013)
  2. 2 kevin 09 Sep
    Payback to Gordon by Clint for Phoenix last year
  3. 3 Drewsmom 09 Sep

    1st of all, MWR knew how many spots Truex needed to make the Chase. They informed Bowyer that Newman was winning and Truex would be out if Newman won. They also called Vickers down pit road for no reason (the whole time - Vickers is asking why)  Newman wouldn't have had to worry about the pit crew incident had Bowyar not spun on purpose. Newman was 7 laps from winning. If NASCAR doesn't do something to rectify the situation,  Texas Motor Speedway and every other track will NEVER see another dime of our money.  More and more, NASCAR looks like the WWE.  They have no consistency and you're rewarded for cheating. Wonder why ticket sales are down? Wonder why ratings are down? Look no further than Saturday nights shenanigans to find that answer. I have to wonder if Bill France Jr.were alive - would these things happen. I think NOT!!  

  4. 4 juliebork 08 Sep

    Ever seen John Force race his daughter?  Conspiracy theories run rampant at my house.   Can you prove it?  Would you want to?

    Newman did not have to lose spots in the pits.  Unless Bowyer had something to do with that.

    It's a racin' deal.  Let em work it out on the track.

    It could not have happened any better for NASCAR if you scripted it.  LET THE CHASE BEGIN!

  5. 5 Robert Herring 08 Sep

    Well one thing is for sure, if that's what Nascar calls fair then they don't need my money on tickets anymore!!  Including the November race at TMS I usually attend. Not that they care, they have plenty of fans and money, plus whatever the received from MWR!  And dear money homeboy Eddie says  circumstantial evidence then he playing the safe way out. I have read enough on radio transcripts to take out the circumstantial part. But then that's why the pay Eddie!

  6. 6 Michala Purdy 08 Sep
    Very well said!!
  7. 7 Jonesy 08 Sep

    Great piece Eddie. The answer to all conspiracy theorists is "WHO CARES"!!I hate it for Newman but its ridiculous to think that spinning out would propel Truex into the Chase. 1) who knew the leader and everyone else would put? 2) who knew that Newman would lose positions if he pitted?

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