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Truex not happy about decision to put Gordon in Chase

Sep 13, 2013, 9:16 PM EDT

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With Jeff Gordon as the 13th driver for this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, Martin Truex Jr. is now officially the guy that’s gotten the worst deal out of the controversy stemming from last Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway.

Truex was knocked out of the Chase after NASCAR penalized Michael Waltrip Racing substantially on Monday, allowing Ryan Newman to ascend to the second Wild Card transfer spot. On Friday, NASCAR put Gordon into the Chase, which caused Truex to air his frustration over still being left out of the post-season run.

“I’m not even sure what to say at this point. I’m kind of at a loss for words,” Truex said on Friday according to Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press. “How they make a spot for somebody – they kick me out to make a spot for somebody and then they don’t do the same for the other guys?

“It’s just unfair and nothing I can do about it.”

Last Saturday at Richmond, MWR’s Clint Bowyer spun out with seven laps to go to start the whole thing. At that time, the spin wound up enabling Truex to earn a Chase spot, while Newman and Gordon were left out.

But while NASCAR maintains it was unable to prove that Bowyer’s spin was deliberate, the sanctioning body would nail MWR on radio communications between Brian Vickers and team general manager Ty Norris that had the former being told to pit with three laps left.

Two nights later, NASCAR delivered its punishment: 50-point penalties for Truex, Bowyer and Vickers; probation for their respective crew chiefs; a $300,000 fine; and an indefinite suspension for Norris.

The penalties were especially hard to swallow for Truex after he had driven valiantly over the last two races with a cast on his broken right wrist, sustained in a crash last month at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“We ran third at Atlanta. We had a 20th-place car at Richmond, we battled our tails off to finish seventh with it and really, that’s as far as it goes for me,” Truex said.

“When the race was over, I wasn’t aware of what happened, what the cautions were for. I didn’t know the 55 [Vickers] pitted at the end…It’s a difficult situation, like I said, for all of us. Just ready to move on.”

Truex may be ready to move on, but it doesn’t change the fact that it seems wrong for him to be on the sidelines of this year’s championship battle after he had raced so hard to clinch a post-season berth.

Gordon, the second addition to the Chase in the last five days, showed some sympathy for Truex’s plight on Friday.

“He drove his butt off [at Richmond],” said Gordon. “I raced with him in the closing laps and he raced hard. You could tell what he was racing for. The guy didn’t do anything wrong. For that, I felt bad for him. But we didn’t get to see the race play out.

“We don’t know what the results were going to be because of the circumstances of that spin changed everything. That, to me, is the only reason I’m accepting being in in the 13th, because under normal circumstances I would say, ‘No, that’s not right.’”

  1. jets12 - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    NASCAR has officially joined the ranks of things that don’t matter. This whole Richmond/Chase fiasco has reduced this “sport” to nothing more than a bumbling side show that nobody can ever take seriously again. When does the chase consist of 12 drivers? Apparently only when the chosen ones are involved. If not they expand the field. I have been a fan for over forty years and this is disgusting and unforgivable.

    • worknman24hours - Sep 14, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Well,Nascar just outdid the what the FIA used to do in Formula One before Red Bull bought F1 for the publicity.

      THE CHASE-THE CHASE-THE CHASE!

      That’s all I’ve ever heard since they started this nonsense.

      I don’t have one bit of hate for Jeff taking this freebee-this crxp is all NASCARS FAULT.

      Every fan should demand the money for their tickets and promotional merchandise back.

      I hope Jeff wins the championship so this joke never goes away.

  2. mungman69 - Sep 14, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    This makes a joke out of the chase. We will never find out who all of the cheaters are in each race.

  3. laserw - Sep 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Well, Truex – you aren’t Jeffie Sue Gordon. Your car owner is not a convicted felon pardoned by an impeached President and you didn’t do anything wrong. You raced hard and didn’t whine.

    What are you thinking?

    In today’s NASCAR the team that actually did spin is retained, a guy who languished in an underwhelming track history of 25 races where he had to back into the Chase gets anointed because his fans are loud and he whines even louder. Jeffie sue has made a career of intentionally wrecking other drivers to win races yet he is suddenly a victim.

    NASCAR didn’t get the field it wanted so it is using its own version of what happened to reshape the field into the one it does. And meanwhile, Clint Boyer, the resident idiot on four wheels, has experienced no penalty of substance for his actions (he is the one who spun his car).

    So NASCAR gets 13 in the chase and all the Jeffie Sue fans are now seeking revenge. I can just see the pink purses twirling.

    But reality bites. Unless Jeffie cheats, he’ll be just as mediocre in the chase as he was in the other 26 races and will need to have a co-champion position created to win in 2013. But, like we’ve seen, creating special rules for Hendrick is what NASCAR is all about.

    And any wonder why there is a GEN6 car? Because Hendrick was losing superiority in GEN5. And he advocated and was an early beneficiary of it. And then the Fords started to find the sweet spot just in time for the Chase. And pappa Hendrick ain’t gonna like that.

    • skirvdog - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      You’re an idiot!

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