With the NASCAR community talking about Trevor Bayne and talk of “team orders” or “strong arming” did we forget there still were some teams doing some actual cheating on the track?
Michael Waltrip Racing got hit hard with a penalty due to unapproved modifications to the windshields of the #00 of David Reutimann, #56 of Martin Truex and affiliated #47 car of Bobby Labonte.
And now we have Jeff Gluck at SBNation reporting that crew chief Chad Knaus told Jimmie Johnson to wreck his car if he won the race. The conversation was apparently over heard on NASCAR’s race buddy and recorded by a fan. You can check it out at the above link.
Considering it’s now Wednesday it’s crazy to think someone sat on this the last three days.
After the instruction from Knaus, Johnson surprisingly says “really?” to which Knaus said it was necessary to cover all the bases.
Perhaps Johnson made the statement remembering Clint Bowyer’s penatly at New Hampshire last year which cost him 100 championship points in the old system and effectively took him out of the title running early.
Or maybe there is a reason Knaus felt the need to tell Johnson this. Johnson won the spring race at Talladega with the same car he ran on Sunday. Nothing was found wrong with the car then and Johnson did not have a need to smash it into the wall. Following pre and post-qualifying inspections this week the car was given the green light to compete on Sunday.
I guess it’s not that Knaus told Johnson this statement that surprises me. It’s that he told it to him while the camera was on and the public was watching. For a team so secretive about their agendas and strategy they sure made a mistake here. The fact is Knaus had all week to tell Johnson to damage the rear end and yet he waited until moments before the race to do so?
Guarantee that won’t be happening again.
And you thought Trevor Bayne had a bad weekend.