• 77°

NASCAR: Gibbs crestfallen over cheating scandal

By Matt Markey
Toledo Blade
BROOKLYN, Mich. ó J.D. Gibbs squirmed in his seat, just like the little kid at grandma’s house who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
The president of the powerhouse Joe Gibbs Racing team was clearly uncomfortable and embarrassed over revelations over the weekend that unidentified members of his team had attempted to manipulate the data NASCAR collects from the cars following Saturday’s Nationwide Series race.
“It was a really, really poor decision by some of our key guys at Joe Gibbs Racing, and I want to apologize to NASCAR, to our partners, to Toyota guys,” Gibbs said. “A couple of guys chose to make a decision there that really impacts all of us.”
The hanky-panky involved the Toyotas driven in the Carfax 250 by Gibbs drivers Tony Stewart, who finished third, and the seventh-place car of rookie Joey Logano.
Sometime after the race and prior to turning the cars over to NASCAR for the post-race inspection, magnets were placed below the accelerator.
“Our inspectors discovered some shims that were placed on the gas-pedal stop ó magnets that were about a quarter-inch thick that prevented the accelerator from going 100 percent wide open,” said NASCAR official Robin Pemberton.
The Gibbs teams have dominated the Nationwide Series, winning 15 of the first 25 races, but NASCAR recently instituted rule changes that decreased the horsepower in the Toyotas, with the expressed intent of leveling the playing field. The competing manufacturers had complained bitterly that the previous rules favored Toyota.
Some theorized that the manipulation was intended to throw off the data NASCAR gathered, indicating a significant reduction in power in the Toyota motors. An obviously irritated Gibbs, who runs the racing operation for his dad, former NFL head coach Joe Gibbs, said he struggled to understand the rationale behind the scam.
“If this alleged incident proves true, it goes against everything we stand for as an organization,” J.D. Gibbs said. “I know they’re probably frustrated about having less horsepower than ever before, and wanted to make it look like we’re handicapped more than ever before. I understand that, but that’s not an excuse.”
NASCAR expects to levy penalties and fines early this week, while Gibbs indicated that folks will likely lose their jobs when the internal investigation of the incident is completed.
“We will take full responsibility and accept any penalties NASCAR levies against us,” he said. “We will also investigate internally how this incident took place and who was involved and make whatever decisions are necessary to ensure that this kind of situation never happens again.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Police ask for help finding robbery suspect

Local

Three Rivers Land Trust finalizes deal to double size nature preserve in Spencer

Local

Spin Doctors announced as headlining band for 2021 Cheerwine Festival

Ask Us

Ask Us: Readers ask about Hoffner murder case, ‘Fame’ location

Local

Cornhole tournament at New Sarum Brewery brings out Panthers fans, raises money for charity

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged for breaking and entering, burglary tools

Nation/World

Senators race to overcome final snags in infrastructure deal

Crime

Child killed in Monroe drive-by shooting; 1 arrested

Local

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Dragon Boat race returns after year hiatus

Local

Marker commemorating Jim Crow-era lynchings in Rowan County, racial injustice required years of work

Local

Identified Marine was a Salisbury native, served in WWII

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees COVID-19 cases coming more quickly, remains in middle tier for community spread

Cleveland

Cleveland plans to build walking trail, community barn quilt mural

High School

High school athletics: Male Athlete of the Year Walker in league of once-in-a-generation players

Business

Young entrepreneur learns lesson of responsibility by raising quail, selling eggs

Lifestyle

Historic McCanless House sold, buyers plan on converting home into events venue

Lifestyle

Library’s Summer Reading Week 10 has virtual storytime, last chance to log hours

Coronavirus

Positive COVID test knocks DeChambeau out of Olympics

College

College football: North grad Delaney ready for next challenges at Johnson C. Smith

College

Fishing: Carson grad Bauer signs with CVCC

Business

Biz Roundup: City of Salisbury brings back in-person community resource fair

Nation/World

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

Nation/World

Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support

Nation/World

French protesters reject virus passes, vaccine mandate