Richard Childress, owner of Clint Bowyer's No. 33 car, met with media and discussed the infraction and penalties following Bowyer's win at Loudon last weekend.
Listen to the audio or read the full transcript below:
Richard Childress' news conference (9 minutes, 38 seconds)
“Really I don’t have a lot more to say than we said in our press release. Three things that stand out to me that we said in the press release is that #1 we were close at Richmond. And they told us don’t bring the car back. They were going to look at the car after New Hampshire.
"Well, I hope the integrity that RCR and Richard Childress has built-up over the forty-plus years in this sport………..we wouldn’t be…and I will use the words dumb enough, stupid enough to bring a car to the race track that we know is out of the tolerances.
"Two, I can assure you…..and I looked at the numbers personally and looked at the cars on the plates before they went to New Hampshire that those cars were legal when they left.
"And three, the only thing that we can come up with is why was the car a thickness of a penny over the tolerance – which was sixty-thousandths……….why the car got up there…..the only thing we can say is that when the wrecker hit the car and a couple other people hit it…Jaime (McMurray) got into it and who knows what really happened there. And I don’t think anyone could look us square in the face and say without a shadow of a doubt that that wrecker couldn’t have moved that car sixty-thousandths. That is where we stand today and we appreciate the press working with us and not that I didn’t want to talk to a lot of you that asked earlier today, but I felt it was better to just make a statement and…..thank ya’ll.”
HOW BIG IS THE TOLERANCE ON THE CARS AND HOW CLOSE DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS SHOULD BE AND SECOND OF ALL SOME PEOPLE INCLUDING DENNY HAMLIM, THEY HAD HEARD FOR MONTHS THAT YOU GUYS WERE TOO CLOSE TO THE TOLERANCE
“Well I think everybody gets close and you are competitors. When you get closer to racing for a win, they always think you are cheating. Hell, everybody thought for years that Jimmie Johnson might have been cheating but that is the competitors and they have the right to say what they feel. I don’t ever try and throw a competitor under the bus. We try and go out and beat them on the track.
"Second the tolerances that NASCAR gives on this issue I think, again I think because I haven’t seen it in writing but the numbers we were told in thickness were ten-thousandths over a penny. I don’t know. That is what we were told and everybody gets as close and if you are going to weigh a car and its supposed to weigh 3400 lbs, then you are going to get it on 3400 lbs. That is the competitor in everybody. You get it as close as you can and we got close at Richmond, but we haven’t crossed the border. And how this happened………the only thing we can come up with is that.”
KNOWING THE HISTORY OF THE APPEAL PROCESS, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR CHANCES ARE?
“All I am going to ask for is a fair appeal. That is all I want, is a fair appeal. And I have only in the history of RCR………..I don’t think we have been but to maybe three appeals. Didn’t win any of them.”
REGARDING THE TOW TRUCK CAUSING SOME DAMAGE TO THE CAR, IT SEEMS LIKE NASCAR HAS DISMISSED IT. DO YOU THINK THEY WILL LISTEN FURTHER DURING THE APPEAL PROCESS?
"That's what the appeal is for is to have an appeal board to hear both sides of the store. Hopefully we can present a case enough to know that being bumped pretty severe a couple of times by a tow truck is enough to move it sixty thousandths."
YOU TALKED ABOUT YOUR 40 YEARS OF INTEGRITY, DO YOU FEEL THIS DAMAGES IT AT ALL OR PUTS A CLOUD OVER YOUR COMEBACK OVER THE LAST YEAR?
"Well, I don't think it puts a cloud over it because we haven't been out of the box. This is the first time that they've said we were out of the box. Everybody gets close to the lines, no matter what the tolerance of the engine is supposed to be; 358 you're at 357.9. I think that timing for our sport with sponsors is pretty critical right now for anything to happen to a team."
YOU SAID YOU HOPE FOR A FAIR APPEAL, CAN YOU DEFINE THAT? AND HOW DO YOU TRY TO PROVE TO THREE INDIVIDUALS THAT A TOW TRUCK OR SOMETHING ELSE DID THIS AND THAT THIS WASN'T SOMETHING THAT WAS DONE IN THE SHOP? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PROVE THIS IN YOUR APPEAL?
"We have some ways to do it. We'll have to save that for the appeal and how we're going to approach that. A fair appeal is three men that do understand the sport and understand things that could happen that could change this out of our environment."
FROM A POSITIVE STANDPOINT, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT STILL HAVING THREE TEAMS IN THE CHASE AFTER NOT HAVING ANY LAST YEAR AND ALSO ABOUT THIS TURNAROUND AND WHAT WENT INTO IT?
"A lot of work went into it. We did have new cars up there but the cars that we brought up there, the bodies were legal. The thing that we had when we started out the Chase was brand new brakes, brand new radiators, brand new hoses; every piece on those cars are brand new. When we say we brought brand new cars, you're in a box. You can't go but so far. What we did, we invested in components, parts, pieces, spindles, hubs, rear housings, you name it; millions of dollars here to win this championship with brand new race cars. And by you saying brand new race cars, that's every component where we don't have failures.
"And I'm proud of our team and I'm going to walk just as high; I ain't going to take a step out of the way for nobody, and I'm going to look anybody in the eye because I know what we did. I know what we've done to get us here, and we haven't cheated to get here. I can look everybody in the eye and walk down through here. We have did as much as anybody in the sport to get back where we're at. We've spent millions of dollars and put the right people in place and a sixteenth of an inch isn't going to make me have a cloud over my head."
DO YOU HAVE A UNIFIED WAY OF MEASURING ALL THE CARS THE SAME? THE NO. 31 AND THE NO. 29 WERE CLEAR, SO DOES THE SAME PERSON OR GROUP MEASURE ALL THREE CARS THE SAME WAY? DENNY HAMLIN SAID THAT THE GARAGE HAS KNOWN FOR MONTHS THAT THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON AND THAT YOU ALL WERE WARNED BEFORE RICHMOND. CAN YOU COMMENT ON THAT?
"The last one (question), I would be bad to say what I really want to say. Bite your lip. Okay. The first one (question) we have one of the most sophisticated measuring systems in the sport. And we measure every car and we know where we're at to the thousandths. It's the GPS system set-up in our race shop that we know where we're at when we leave and we know without a shadow of a doubt that that car left within the tolerances, well within the tolerances."