By Mike Mulhern
The hefty NASCAR penalty on Robby Gordon and his team for carrying an unapproved nose to Daytona for Speedweeks—$100,000 fine, 100-point deduction, dropping him out of the critical top-35, and a six-week suspension for his crew chief – continues to raise the hackles among rival teams around the NASCAR garage, with many complaining that NASCAR officials were simply too heavy-handed.
Jack Roush: “I could see making a manufacturer change and being given – for reasons not cold-blooded – the wrong part.
“If you knew you had a part that was going to be checked and that you’d be penalized for, you wouldn’t do that. It would be like having the National Guard standing around in front of the bank and you try to root your way in the bank to rob it.
“With all the stuff going on at Daytona right now, you’re not going to be taking unapproved manifolds or body parts, because the results are going to be dire. So I would be amazed if there were any attempt to get around the rules; I think somebody just made a mistake. And Robby, being a single-car team, he’s probably short on managers who could have caught that. No harm intended.
“I’m surprised – given that he never qualified with it, that he didn’t do anything to conceal it – with the severity of the penalty.
“If it were me, I’d have made him cut the wrong nose off and put the right nose on, and tell him to run the right parts.”