NASCAR’s bombshell on Hendrick Motorsports last week has created havoc all around. Few expected them to be penalized with a massive $400,000 bill after being found guilty of modifying the hood louvers at Phoenix Raceway. Obviously, the NASCAR Cup Series giants are quite upset with it. So much so, that Vice Chairman Jeff Gordon has exposed everyone in the pit road with his frustration.
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The three-time Daytona 500 winner is immensely passionate about HMS even post-retirement. This incident has infuriated him to the level that he criticized NASCAR for being inconsistent with their decision-making. He even used last year’s Daytona race to prove his point.
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Hendrick Motorsports Vice Chairman Jeff Gordon reveals the truth of NASCAR garage amid historic penalty
A lot has been discussed about the way HMS have been accused guilty of modifying the parts. Gordon has something to say about it when he was in the broadcasting booth at the Atlanta race. He said, “I think there’s also one thing I want to say is there’s this kind of narrative up and down Pit Road that these single-source parts that you are not allowed to touch them.“
What the 51-year-old said next is a shocking revelation. Gordon said, “NASCAR said you are not allowed to touch and modify them [parts]. I guarantee you up and down this grid right here, there’s not a single car that hasn’t in some way touch or modified or done something to one of those single source [part] because the product that we are getting delivered to us, the quality is not up to the standard.”
Interestingly, the misfit issue of the parts was even pointed out by Dale Earnhardt Jr recently. However, Gordon was right here to question NASCAR, considering the processes involved and the final product received.
He said, “So NASCAR allows teams to do it [modify] just for fit but there’s also the detail in which that part was designed and approved by NASCAR and making sure that it fits within that box on top of those other things.”
Well, Gordon would not stop there. It is not the first time that a part was modified. But the problem is with the inconsistency of NASCAR as far as the four-time Cup Series champion is concerned. And he was quick to recall last year’s Daytona incident to justify his case.
Jeff Gordon slams NASCAR for being hypocritical with their penalty decision-making
Last season, NASCAR issued a directive asking teams to use a single-lug nut per wheel instead of the five-lug nuts used earlier. However, on the eve of the Daytona 500 race last year, the governing body confiscated some wheels from Team Penske and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, citing wheel modifications.
NASCAR penalizes No. 16 Kaulig Racing team and No. 50 The Money Team for losing a wheel in the Daytona 500. Four race suspensions for each team's crew chief plus two additional crew members.
Surprisingly, NASCAR did not impose any penalty on either team. They found no violation of any regulations back then. Referring to this incident, Gordon said, “Yeah and we actually saw a similar situation last year with some wheels where a design was put in place and a modification happened.”
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“And yet there was no penalty whatsoever even though teams were told not to modify that part and that part was never raced either and you know prior to the race.“
Clearly, NASCAR is guilty of being inconsistent here. Moreover, the activities carried out by HMS are more or less similar. No wonder Gordon was so livid.
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Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR writer at Essentially Sports. Since completing his
graduation, he has been pursuing a career in the Media & Entertainment industry.
With a zeal to write creative and insightful content, he started his journey as
a freelancer in 2018.