Clint Bowyer spoke with ESPN on Tuesday, where he denied that he spun out intentionally to help his teammate gain a berth in the Chase for the Cup title playoff. Appearing on ESPN, Bowyer was asked directly if the spinout at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night was on purpose.
“No,” Bowyer replied. “Any time something happens on the race track it’s unfortunate.” Now of course he is going to say no.
NASCAR heavily penalized Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Brian Vickers and their Michael Waltrip Racing team Monday for trying to manipulate the finish of the Richmond race to get Truex into the Chase.
The penalties resulted in Truex being dropped from the Chase and Ryan Newman being added to the 12-driver Chase field. Plus, it has been tough luck for Truex Jr., who has been driving with a broken wrist after a crash at Bristol.
Newman was leading the Richmond race with seven laps remaining when Bowyer inexplicably spun out. NASCAR found no conclusive evidence that Bowyer did so on purpose, but many in NASCAR Nation believe otherwise. Despite being penalized, Bowyer remains in the Chase and in contention to win his first Sprint Cup Series championship. So, you are in the Chase and your teammate needs to beat the person leading the race in order to gain a spot in the Chase; what do you do? You would like to think you would help your teammate, however, NASCAR had every right to question the “move” and Newman has found his way into the Chase.
Bowyer, 34, said he had spoken with Newman and told ESPN that he “hated to see” the events that initially prevented Newman from making the playoff.
“I’m happy that he’s in the Chase,” Bowyer said. Bowyer also hinted that other drivers might find their own way to penalize Bowyer on the track at this Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway, the first event in the 10-race Chase. “If somebody wants to retaliate, I’m a big boy,” Bowyer said.
I have seen many wrecks and a lot of suspicious moves on the track before and a lot of driver’s say exactly what Bowyer said. Bowyer, I hope that it was unintentionally done because accidents do happen, but if it wasn’t, well there is something called karma and Truex getting removed from the Chase is not it. Playoffs for NASCAR begin this weekend in Chicago. With only ten races left, who will be crowned the next Sprint Cup Champion?
Contributing Writer: Tamra @adamstamra