“The goal of Michael Waltrip Racing is to be a championship-level organization both on and off the track. The on-track incident which occurred during Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway was extremely disappointing and brought raw emotions of a long and hard championship battle to the surface. Though we generally cannot control certain actions on the track, the unfortunate reactions off the track Sunday did not live up to the professional standards in which Michael Waltrip Racing expects all of its representatives to live by. We commit to our sponsors, our manufacturer, our fans and NASCAR that we will do so in the future.”
It was the AdvoCare 500, lap 311 of 312 laps, when Jeff Gordon squeezed Clint Bowyer, who attempted to go low and then all hell broke loose – that is, on track and shortly following – off track – in the garage area at Phoenix International Raceway.
An unregretful Jeff Gordon had wrecked title contender Clint Bowyer collecting other cars in the process – those of of Joey Logano and Aric Almirola in the process.
I heard the play-by-play calls by spotters – who had the best view of everyone – explaining it to drivers during the 15 minute red flag when crewman from Gordon’s and Bowyer’s teams started fighting in the garage – also collecting a few NASCAR Officials. Bowyer had excused himself from his parked car on pit road and ran through the garage area attempting to get to Gordon’s transporter after his spotter had reported “Gordon is waiting for you,” but was restrained by Hendrick crew members when he reached the destination.
The way Gordon saw it, wrecking Bowyer was justified retaliation for a litany of sins that have occurred this season, including contact between the two cars that sent Gordon into the Turn 3 wall a few laps before he exacted his revenge.
“Things just got escalated over the year, and I’d had it,” said Gordon. “Clint has run into me numerous times, wrecked me, and he got into me on the back straightaway and pretty much ruined our day.
“I’ve had it — fed up with it — and I got him back.”
There. Gordon said it himself. REVENGE.
Clint Bowyer (L), driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, talks with crew chief Brian Pattie on pit road during the red flag at Phoenix. Photo by Getty Images.
Bowyer said he wasn’t trying to hit Gordon’s Chevrolet. “All I was doing was riding around, biding my time,” Bowyer said after the meeting with Gordon and NASCAR to the media. “It’s pretty embarrassing for a four-time champion — and what I consider one of the best this sport’s ever seen — to act like that. It’s just completely ridiculous.”
Bowyer pretty much had a solid run all day, possibly looking at a top-five finish at PIR. Bowyer now finds himself completely out of the Chase, 52 points behind the new leader, Brad Keselowski, with his 28th-place finish. While both were Chase drivers, Bowyer still had a chance for the title before he was wrecked. Gordon’s move of retaliation also caused other drivers to wreck, hence falling under the “detrimental actions to cause harm to others on track” which NASCAR takes very seriously. NASCAR Championship Point Standings.
Police break up brawl after Gordon – Bowyer incident in garage area. Photo by Getty Images.
NASCAR should suspend Jeff Gordon, as well as crew members from BOTH Gordon and Bowyer’s crew, from the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As a reminder, and also to be fair, NASCAR had suspended Kyle Busch for retaliation costing Ron Hornaday, Jr. his championship run in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway last year.
As for NASCAR not throwing the yellow flag sooner right after Danica Patrick hit the wall, putting down oil all over the track: NASCAR VP of Competition Robin Pemberton said “We didn’t see any fluid or anything, she rode around on the apron, and when she pulled up on the track, there was smoke, it looked like tire smoke. It’s easy to look back on it obviously and wish that you did something different, but but at the time it didn’t appear like there was any fluid that was coming out of the car.”
Both drivers were summoned to the NASCAR hauler, where they met with officials of the sanctioning body. Gordon, who slid four places to 10th in the Chase, said he wasn’t worried about resulting penalties. So whatever actions NASCAR will take with regard to the on and off track incidents could be announced by Monday or Tuesday, according to Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition.
2012 Watkins Glenn NSCS qualifying – MWR No. 15 Clint Bowyer 8/11/2012 | By Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images
The No. 15 5-hour ENERGY team will be featured in the ABC television special Catching Speedpresented by John Deere that airs at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, September 2, 2012. The show features the Michael Waltrip Racing team as it prepares for The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway—one of NASCAR’s most prestigious races.
“The opportunity for the Catching Speed program came along and it was just too good to pass up for our team and our sponsors,” said Ty Norris, MWR executive vice president business development. “The No. 15 team is all-new this year—a new driver, crew chief, crew, sponsor—and they along with the NAPA team are combining to make this the best year in Michael Waltrip Racing’s brief history.
“The No. 15 team is a group of great guys that has a ton of characters—they know how to have fun better than most of the teams in the garage, so it should be a very entertaining hour of television.”
The show features the 5-hour ENERGY team’s race preparation and execution from several different perspectives including the crew chief, driver, crew and marketing team.
Catching Speed even ventured away from the racetrack to follow the No. 15 team as it visited the high school of crew mechanic and Indiana native Travis Stock as the team went to play basketball after the garage closed.
Team owner Michael Waltrip (left) and driver Clint Bowyer (right) pose for a photo with the No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 7 in Kansas City, Kan. Waltrip announced that Clint Bowyer will join Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2012 Season. Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR
Michael Waltrip Racing announced Clint Bowyer will drive the team’s #15 Toyota with 5-hour Energy as the primary sponsor for the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup seasons beginning at the 2012 Daytona 500. The announcement ends months of speculation for the highly valued free agent.
Bowyer, 32, is a six-year veteran with four victories, two pole positions, 30 top-five finishes and 90 top-10s in Sprint Cup competition. MWR is finishing its fifth season competing in the Sprint Cup series and has scored two wins.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #33 Crawford Supply/Klotz Synthetic Lubrication Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Prelude To The Dream at Eldora Speedway on June 8, 2011 in Rossburg, Ohio. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
The box score says that Clint Bowyer led all 30 laps in Wednesday night’s Prelude to the Dream all-star dirt Late Model race at Eldora Speedway, but the native of Emporia, Kan., had to fend off strong charges from J.J. Yeley and Aric Almirola to finally capture a victory in the prestigious race that’s a who’s who of racing’s elite.
After finishing second in the past two Prelude to the Dream events, Bowyer sealed his first Prelude triumph by .531 of a second over Yeley, a former USAC champion who has logged numerous laps at Eldora.
Stewart, owner of Eldora Speedway and a three-time Prelude victor, finished 20th in the race he created in 2005.
The race was a team event. There was still an individual race winner in Bowyer, but there was also a race within the race, with the field broken up into four teams, each representing a children’s hospital:
· Team Levine: Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Bill Elliott, David Reutimann, Austin Dillon, Ray Evernham and Cruz Pedregon.
· Team Atlanta: Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Bowyer, Ken Schrader, David Gilliland, Leffler and Ron Capps.
· Team St. Louis: Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Bobby Labonte, Justin Allgaier, Kenny Wallace, Ron Hornaday and Ricky Carmichael.
· Team Dallas: Tony Stewart, Tony Kanaan, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, Ambrose, Almirola and Yeley.
Each hospital received a donation, with the payout breakdown as follows:
· Winning team received 30 percent of net proceeds raised from the pay-per-view telecast.
· Second-place team received 25 percent of net proceeds raised from the pay-per-view telecast.
· Third- and fourth-place teams each received 20 percent of net proceeds raised from the pay-per-view telecast.
The finishing positions of the top-five drivers from each team were added together, with the lowest team score winning 30 percent of the net money raised. The cumulative efforts of Busch (fourth), Allgaier (fifth), Carmichael (sixth) and Kahne (10th) put Team St. Louis on top. Team Atlanta finished second, while Team Dallas and Team Levine finished third and fourth, respectively. As a result, Team Atlanta will receive 25 percent of the net money raised, and Team Dallas and Team Levine will each receive 20 percent of the net money raised.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Clint Bowyer and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie Austin Dillon speed into THE PRICE IS RIGHT for a special NASCAR-themed episode, Monday, Nov. 15 (11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT) on the CBS Television Network. Bowyer and Dillon will present two NASCAR-themed showcases, featuring a trip North Carolina to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a trip to Miami to see the season-ending races in all three National Series at the end of November and a Chevy Impala LS.
Bowyer is one of three Sprint Cup Series drivers for Richard Childress Racing and currently pilots the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet Impala in NASCAR’s premier division and the No. 21 Zaxby’s Chevrolet Impala in the NASCAR Nationwide Series part time. Bowyer won the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. Austin Dillon, grandson of RCR team owner Richard Childress, is in his first full-time season, driving the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT, the longest-running game show in television history, is hosted by Drew Carey. Produced by FremantleMedia North America, THE PRICE IS RIGHT is broadcast weekdays on the CBS Television Network.
Driver of the RCR No. 33 Chevy, Clint Bowyer and Richard Childress. Photo credit: Richard Childress Racing
Richard Childress repeated his frustration in the NASCAR appeals process after an independent panel denied his bid to have Clint Bowyer’s penalty overturned. Childress has maintained that Bowyer’s car was damaged after the race at New Hampshire by a tow truck that pushed the Chevrolet to Victory Lane because it was out of fuel.
Three members of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel, consisting of John Capels, Lyn St. James and Waddell Wilson, mainly two out of three are open-wheel driver’s, voted unanimously Wednesday to uphold the penalty levied against Bowyer after the car he drove to victory Sept. 19 at New Hampshire failed inspection.
“I am disappointed but not surprised by the decision knowing how the appeal system is structured,” Childress said in a statement Thursday. “We proved beyond a reasonable doubt how the car was found to be out of tolerance after the race. Knowing how the system works, I brought a check with me to cover the cost of the appeal hearing and we have already submitted our request to appeal to the chief appellate officer.”
Childress paid the fee on the spot and will now go before NASCAR’s chief appellate officer, John Middlebrook. The former General Motors executive is NASCAR’s version of the Supreme Court, and is expected to hear the appeal next week.
NASCAR stated that they warned RCR about building their cars dangerously close to the templates, but apparently NASCAR didn’t publicize that information before the AP had reported that Bowyer was warned at Richmond. (source: AP)
Hendrick Motorsports had the same warning, but with two teams – teams of Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin after last September’s (2009) race in Dover, where BOTH cars were returned to the R & D Center. NASCAR has stated that, apparently, both teams had fixed the problem after the warnings were issued.
RCR stands strong in my point of view with his statement “only a fool would bring an illegal car to the track knowing NASCAR was going to tear it apart.”
It’s also scary that everyone already knew what the answer would be to any appeal… “not a chance in hell would an appeal get overturned with NASCAR.” It’s a decade-old problem that won’t be fixed as long as NASCAR stays as a privately owned entity.
Is NASCAR being paid off or playing favoritism towards one team in guiding them to [another] Championship? What would become of the sport if Jimmie Johnson wins his fifth Championship in a row? It wouldn’t be a “WOW” factor from me, that’s for sure. You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words:
A fan roots for her favorite driver during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Credit: Getty Images
Race fans want to see different drivers win… win the race….win the Championship. If you ask me, NASCAR has already hurt the sport when anyone can say a Toyota is a Toyota and a Chevy is a Chevy when they use the same template.
Here’s an idea: RCR ought to call up his team’s sponsors and let them know that they stand strong on their claim and let them know that they will run all the RCR cars – No. 29 Kevin Harvick, No. 31 Jeff Burton and No. 33 Clint Bowyer – as “Start & Park” for one race.” Imagine that statement. I know, I know… back to reality. It would’ve worked, cause Bowyer’s last in the points race, but it would hurt Harvick. You know what? NASCAR really has everyone’s ball bearings in a tight grip!!
On September 29, 2010, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of Richard Childress Racing regarding four penalties issued by NASCAR relative to the #33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. This stemmed from post-race inspection following a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire Motor Raceway on September 21, 2010.
The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing.”; Section 12-4-J: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules”; and Section 20-3: “The car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis does not meet the NASCAR-approved specifications.”
The penalties assessed were:
-Loss of 150 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points for owner, Richard Childress
-Loss of 150 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points for driver, Clint Bowyer
-$150,000 fine; suspension from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until November 3, 2010; and probation until December 31, 2010 for crew chief Shane Wilson
- Suspension from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until November 3, 2010; and probation until December 31, 2010 for crew member Chad Haney
The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions and fine until such time as this hearing could be convened.
The Appellants did not contest that the car measured out of specifications upon inspection.
The Appellants argued that, having received a warning about the car body of the #33 car being “too close” following the Richmond race, that it was inconceivable that they would bring a non-conforming car to New Hampshire.
They argued that the left rear frame member was actually bent upward as a result of the car being pushed towards Victory Lane by a wrecker after the post-race burnouts, which resulted in the left rear measurement “hard point” being too high. To this end, they also presented an accident reconstruction specialist to demonstrate that a wrecker might bend up the left rear strut in the trunk under certain conditions. The specialists, however, indicated that such an occurrence would strictly affect the left rear because of the match-up between the wrecker pushbar and the angle of the racecar’s rear bumper. He went on to say that the corresponding right rear measurements should not be affected, in his view, nor the frame member deformed as a team representative had alleged.
The Appellants also contested the severity and timing of the penalty.Claims that the wrecker caused the infraction were negated by the telemetry from the car which did not show a sharp impact spike; by the fact that the rear template still fit snugly across the entire rear of the car; by a visual inspection of the rear of the car which showed nothing of note in the way of damage; and a visual review of the videotape of post race assistance tendered by the wrecker which appeared as relatively gentle pushing.
Of significance to the Panel were some additional facts which came to light during the hearing. Particularly of note were the facts that both rear hard points, left and right, were high, and that the rear of the body was offset on the frame.
The Panel found that the penalties were consistent for infractions of this magnitude.
Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties.
The periods of suspension shall be adjusted from the date of the hearing.
The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. The Appellants submitted such a request and the fee immediately after the conclusion of the hearing.
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Photo credit: Getty Images
NASCAR is taking a closer look at Clint Bowyer’s race-winning car from New Hampshire. The #33 Chevy passed its initial inspection following Sunday’s victory, but since NASCAR discovered issues with the car in a more thorough inspection at its research and development center after last week’s Richmond race.
Though NASCAR does not typically strip wins from drivers, a car that fails inspection would lead to a significant points penalty.
Bowyer’s wins pushed him to second from 12th in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, 35 points behind leader Denny Hamlin
NASCAR warned Richard Childress Racing that Clint Bowyer’s car came close to failing inspection after his Chase-clinching drive at Richmond.
“This one just seemed to be different, and we felt we owed it to them to make sure they just aren’t off in one area,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of competition. Bowyer’s car was chosen by NASCAR for random inspection following his sixth-place finish at the Sept. 11 race.