Blog Entry

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Posted on: August 17, 2008 10:31 am
Edited on: August 17, 2008 2:04 pm

BROOKLYN, Mich. -  Joe Gibbs Racing is facing fines and penalties from NASCAR for attempting to manipulate dyno readings following Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

The cars of Tony Stewart and Joey Logano face penalties for what NASCAR called "a blatant attempt to interfere with the inspection process."

Gibbs is being accused of trying to lower the throttle reading during Saturday's test after the CarFax 250 at MIS.

“We were in the middle of an inspection process,” said NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton. “(Penalties) would a pretty fair assessment. … This is interfering with a NASCAR inspection process, and I will leave it at that.”

The controversy comes in the wake of a recent dyno test in which NASCAR lowered the horsepower of the Nationwide Series Toyota engines. Gibbs' cars use Toyota powerplants.

The results of the test did not have an impact in Saturday's race, won by Ford driver Carl Edwards.

“What they did was not in effect during the race,” said NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter. “They didn’t have an illegal part or engine during the race. They tried to do something involving a magnet so that we wouldn’t get a true reading on the dyno.”

“This was an attempt to interfere with NASCAR's post-race inspection process, and we are taking it very seriously,” Hunter said.<o:p></o:p>

Gibbs has dominated the Nationwide Series this season with 14 wins in 25 races in the books between the No. 18 and No. 20 Toyotas.

JGR president J.D. Gibbs takes full responsibility for the situation.

"That was a really poor and foolish decision on the part of our key guys," said Gibbs. "A couple of guys chose to make a decision there that really impacts all of us. To me, the frustrating part is, why?

"I know they're probably frustrated from the standpoint of wanting to show that, hey, we have less horsepower than ever before and wanting it to look like we're handicapped even more than we actually were. I understand that, but that's not an excuse."

Category: Auto Racing

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2008 3:45 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Gibbs had to comply with the hp restrictions or the cars would not have been allowed on the track since the hp restrictions was an adjustment to the plate that went between the carb and the intake. What they probably did (and this was stated in the broadcast) was to adjust their engines to make up for this slight shortage of fuel the Toyotas now have. It was a dumb move by someone within the organization to think that they could do something so obvious to shield the hp makeup they had made and the JGR organization will get hit hard for it. Personally I think that NASCAR and its dino testing is ridiculous though. They should establish rules on the size of the engine, the cam, the heads, crank and stroke, etc. and let these teams build engines no matter what make like they do at the short tracks. This equality thing is getting stupid, if everyone has to be equal NASCAR is going to end up building all the parts and sealing it except for some slight chassis adjustments and having the teams purchase the cars randomly to drive on race day. It was not always as close of competition when vehicles were different, but it was far more interesting than watching templates drive around the track.

Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2008 1:26 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Kyle Busch is hated for bumping Dale Jr., who never dominated anything but most fans hearts.  So he is the dominant driver by default now, and Kyle is passing him by.

Since: Aug 6, 2008
Posted on: August 18, 2008 11:37 am

Gibbs Facing Penalties

You do not have to cheat to have a faster car then everyone else. If you get through the corners better then the competition you will go faster down the straights. The fact is that the new body for the cup cars suits Kyle's driving style.

Everyone thinks that since this is JGR, Kyle Busch, and Toyota that the only way they can win is through cheating. If it were Hendricks, Jeff Gordon, and Chevrolet doing this than there might be complaints, but not because there was any thought of cheating. Jeff Gordon is an excellent driver and Hendricks a dominant organization. There are other drivers and teams that can dominate and this will continue. This has always been the case when the new young driver comes in and dominates. When Richard Petty was doninating the series everyone hated Darrell Waltrip because he beat the King. The next thing you know Darrell Waltrip was loved and Dale Earnhardt hated because he was beating Waltrip. Once Earnhardt became the fan favorite Jeff Gordon was hated for beating him. Now Jeff Gordon is the accepted dominate driver and Kyle Busch is hated for beating JG and the Hendricks organization. In another ten years we will have the cycle repeat itself again. Some things never change, but just because there is a new power in NASCAR does not mean he cheated his way to get there, it is just the cycle starting again.

Since: Feb 20, 2007
Posted on: August 18, 2008 9:25 am

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Gibbs is such a holy-roller. I wonder if God told his organization to cheat.  Or, maybe God was was just tired and wasn't paying attention when those inspectors found the magnets.  Point to the sky Joe - see if does anything.

Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2008 7:26 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

That last line was what caught my attention - much worse than spygate! WOW you are looking at things from a New England state of mind to be mild!

This was a foolish attempt to hide an advantage that they had achieved though hard work and superior skill at engine building ( this year mostly attributed to the Toyota Engine being newer than the competition) - spygate was an ongoing program over several seasons (not just a one week decision to hide an advantage) that they had been warned about in the previsous SEASON (not day, week or month my friend).

Auto racing is ALL about getting a superior package over your competiton to win - football is a match and test of skills against one opponent - you do not have to have superior players to win - just a superior strategy and execution - and illegal signals and illegal film gains that advantage and that eguals cheating on a systematic scale - rather than striving to make a better mouse trap in auto racing.

Gibbs deserves a brutal penalty for intending to sabotage NASCAR test results - no doubt. But I disagree that it exceeds the Patriot's violation - we were never disclosed all of the actual results of the Spygate scandal - and that is the telling tale - all evidence destroyed - to save the implecation of any tainted Super Bowls; way too much money involved to tell the truth.

Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2008 6:28 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Who knows.  I guess speculation can run wild though.

We do know that Belichick admitted knowledge of what was going on and took responsibility.

Why would the leader of the NASCAR team have no knowledge?  Does he have ANY involvement in the day to day of the team?

Who took it upon themself to put the magnets on the pedals?

Do you mean some middle guy decided this was what he was going to do for the good of the team?

Can somebody call Arlen Specter and ask for a congressional hearing about the integrity of NASCAR?

Oh ... wait.  He was a fan of the Eagles that lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  He won't care about this.  This sport is largely followed by worthless southerners.  Who cares about them ... right?


Truth is this.  I really don't want to trash Joe Gibbs.  I'm just making silly comparisons of this to spygate.  When speculation and conspiracy theories run wild, they take on a life of their own.  Then the fans of that group feel like a witch hunt was performed on their beloved team.  Let the trashing begin.  Come up with empty, meaningless slurs and insults.  See how you like it.

The difference here is that Joe Gibbs Racing is not as high profile as the New England Patriots.  Not enough of people resent Joe Gibbs Racing due to their success.  So they have no reason to go after him.

But this crime is far and away, without question ... much worse than spygate could ever be.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2008 2:11 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Both are equally ridiculous. The difference is, we do not know that Joe had any knowledge of this. We know that Belichick had knowledge of the taping.

While I agree that the actions of Gibbs racing deserve steep fines, it is too early to draw comparisons to Spygate.

Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2008 1:46 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Refresh my memory.

Tell me how the hearts of the world went out to "complete class act" Joe Gibbs when Belichick "the cheater" ran the score up on him.

Hmmm ... Videotaping something that was in plain view already is cheating ... not sure how that is truly cheating though.

Gibbs team placed magnets under gas pedals so the pedal would not depress all the way to decieve the dyno tester.

Which one is worse?

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2008 1:09 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

Gibbs Racing was caught placing magnets on the back of the gas pedals on the 18 and 20 teams, in order to restrict the pedals from being pushed all the way down. If the pedals aren't completely pushed, it would show as a lower HP output on the dyno, thereby making the inspectors believe that Gibbs was complying with the reduced horsepower for Toyota edict that had been placed. When in effect, they had not. This is a HUGE violation, and Gibbs will be punished severely. Not only were they caught trying to cheat the inspection process, but they were then subsequently caught not complying to the reduced HP edict for Toyotas. The Nationwide Series never levies penalties as large as Sprint Cup does, but I'd bet his fines are in the range of 1 million, combined. Which would be far and away a record for any fine in Nationwide.

And no, Gibbs does not have the COT figured out better than everyone else or they wouldn't have been forced to cheat. And last year, Hendrick DID have the COT firgured out ahead of the curve for everyone else. Just look at the results using the COT. Hendrick tested more, and had more resources to compile information from, in order to get that advantage. The other teams have caught up with Hendrick on the COT for this season, but last year they clearly had an advantage.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2008 12:20 pm

Gibbs Facing Penalties

I laugh every time people try and compare Kyle from this year to last. For quite a few years now it was widely known that Hendricks used the 2 cars as R&D cars. All the Hendricks car were not even in the same shop and did not share information. I am sure this has changed this year with Jr coming in. It is kinda funny that you have drivers leave or get fired from Hendricks and perform better at other teams (not Kyle better), but statistically better. Do not be surprised it Casey Mears goes on to perform much better where ever he ends up next year. I can not remember Vickers ever running up from very often, outside of wrecking a teammate and Jr to win at 'Dega. But, outside of a Toyota growing pain year last season, Vickers is starting to really come into his own right now and not winning....but always around the to 10 recently.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or