Katie’s Komments is going to be a little different this week. With everything that has transpired since the race in Richmond, I thought I would dedicate this edition to all of the controversy.
Michael Waltrip Racing: I honestly don’t know what MWR was thinking when they, and by they I mean those who made the decision AND those who decided to go along with it, were thinking when they decided to cheat. I mean, come on, if you are going to cheat, at least don’t make it completely obvious. Even though NASCAR dismissed the claim that Clint Bowyer spun out on purpose, they did call out Brian Vickers for making an unnecessary pit stop to give another driver more points. MRW was handed one of the biggest penalties in NASCAR history and frankly, I think NASCAR only got it half right. Martin Truex Jr was essentially kicked out of the Chase and was replaced by Ryan Newman but I don’t think that was fair. I really don’t think Truex knew what was going on with his teammates until after it was all said and done. He shouldn’t have to pay the price for them, even if he was the beneficiary. I think NASCAR needed to find a way to put both of them in the Chase. They both deserved the position in the end.
Logano and Gilliland: Something that has just come to light in the last 24 hours or so is a claim that Joey Logano’s team made a deal with David Gilliland’s team to get him that one extra point at the end of the race. The one point that got him into the top-10 in points, right ahead of Jeff Gordon. NASCAR is still reviewing the audio from both drivers’ in-car feeds and hasn’t released too much information about the investigation.
They Were Warned: NASCAR made it clear in the driver’s meeting before the race that they were to play fair and race hard. While they surely raced hard, it seems like they entirely missed the first part. Teammates help each other out all the time during the season; moving over to let a teammate pass, pitting earlier to allow a teammate to lead a lap, and various other things. MWR seemed to take that a step further at Richmond. What many are calling “team orders,” MWR stepped over that line and did something that race fans around the world talked about for days. News stories were posted, rumors starting spreading and NASCAR had to act fast and at late Monday Night press conference, MWR’s penalties were handed down, showing other drivers and teams that this kind of behavior, would not be tolerated.
Never has a season had so much controversy and speculation and this past week alone has given the NASCAR community enough drama to last the rest of the season. As the Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship officially kicks off on Sunday, 2013 is still full of surprises. Stay tuned.