BROOKLYN, Mich. - Joe Gibbs Racing is facing fines and penalties from NASCAR for attempting to manipulate dyno readings following Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
The cars of Tony Stewart and Joey Logano face penalties for what NASCAR called "a blatant attempt to interfere with the inspection process."
Gibbs is being accused of trying to lower the throttle reading during Saturday's test after the CarFax 250 at MIS.
“We were in the middle of an inspection process,” said NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton. “(Penalties) would a pretty fair assessment. … This is interfering with a NASCAR inspection process, and I will leave it at that.”
The controversy comes in the wake of a recent dyno test in which NASCAR lowered the horsepower of the Nationwide Series Toyota engines. Gibbs' cars use Toyota powerplants.
The results of the test did not have an impact in Saturday's race, won by Ford driver Carl Edwards.
“What they did was not in effect during the race,” said NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter. “They didn’t have an illegal part or engine during the race. They tried to do something involving a magnet so that we wouldn’t get a true reading on the dyno.”
“This was an attempt to interfere with NASCAR's post-race inspection process, and we are taking it very seriously,” Hunter said.<o:p></o:p>
Gibbs has dominated the Nationwide Series this season with 14 wins in 25 races in the books between the No. 18 and No. 20 Toyotas.
JGR president J.D. Gibbs takes full responsibility for the situation.
"That was a really poor and foolish decision on the part of our key guys," said Gibbs. "A couple of guys chose to make a decision there that really impacts all of us. To me, the frustrating part is, why?
"I know they're probably frustrated from the standpoint of wanting to show that, hey, we have less horsepower than ever before and wanting it to look like we're handicapped even more than we actually were. I understand that, but that's not an excuse."<o:p></o:p>