GM Points Finger At NASCAR
September 13, 2000 | 12:00 A.M. EST
On Tuesday, NASCAR came to a decision to fine Robbie Loomis – crew chief for the No. 24 Winston Cup team - $25,000 for using an illegal intake manifold during last Saturday’s race at Richmond. The driver of that winning car, Gordon, was allowed to keep the victory, but had to give up 100 points (as did car owner Rick Hendrick).
“We’re very disappointed in the penalties by NASCAR against Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon,” says Doug Duchardt, GM Racing’s NASCAR group manager. “We supplied these magnesium intake manifolds to our teams in the clear belief that they are allowed under the rules. They are identical in shape and dimensions to the comparable aluminum manifold, produce no increase in horsepower and NASCAR has, on many occasions, permitted changes in materials of components where not explicitly prohibited by the rules. There is no mention of materials in the rule on intake manifolds.
“There has never been any intent by GM Racing to provide these parts to teams secretly or to secure an unfair advantage by doing so. NASCAR technical officials have been aware of the use of this manifold for some time. Moreover, on multiple occasions, engines using these manifolds have been inspected by NASCAR and pronounced satisfactory.
“We pride ourselves on having open, constructive communications with NASCAR officials on all matters, especially technical ones. Our track record through the years is proof enough of that. We followed the same process as before and believed that the submission of a new part to NASCAR for approval was not necessary.”
Hendrick has appealed the decision from NASCAR and says if the situation were put before a committee, there’s no question it would be overturned. Gordon feels the situation has been an unnecessary embarrassment to his team, and says they’ve been using the part in question since May.
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