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Inside Motorsports: Time to settle up with Bowyer

By Jim Utter
181570075
Jerry Markland - Getty Images
LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 22: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, looks on during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 22, 2013 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

More Information

  • Next Race

    AAA 400

    Where: Dover (Del.) International Speedway

    When: 2 p.m. Sunday

    TV: ESPN

    Radio: Motor Racing Network

    Last year’s winner: Brad Keselowski



NASCAR has said it has no conclusive proof Clint Bowyer spun on purpose near the end of the Sept.7 Sprint Cup Series race in Richmond, Va.

Bowyer has yet to admit publicly he spun intentionally.

Bowyer’s team owner, Michael Waltrip, insisted as recently as this past weekend at New Hampshire that Bowyer didn’t spin on purpose.

And yet, here we are three weeks later, and many NASCAR fans remain irate with Bowyer and MWR for their actions during that race.

Clearly they did something wrong. NASCAR levied its harshest penalties in history to the MWR organization, booting out one of its teams from the Chase, indefinitely suspending one member of the organization and placing three crew chiefs on probation.

Yet many seem unsatisfied. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The reason is simple: In the vast majority of fans’ eyes, the instigator of the mess that became of the Richmond race – Bowyer – has been left virtually untouched.

Forget any social stigma. And the 50-point penalty from NASCAR – it was assessed to pre-Chase points. To this day, Bowyer refuses to admit he did anything wrong.

And that’s what irks NASCAR nation.

Just consider this:

If Bowyer doesn’t spin, there are no comments from Dale Earnhardt Jr. questioning his actions.

If Bowyer doesn’t spin, there are no comments from ESPN analysts questioning his actions.

If Bowyer doesn’t spin, there is no need of anyone from ESPN’s crew to quickly grab the audio from his in-car radio and share it with the viewing public.

If Bowyer doesn’t spin, there is no need to search the audio of the other two MWR drivers in the race, or any other team’s radio chatter for that matter.

If Bowyer doesn’t spin, his only postrace interview likely is relegated to his qualifying for the Chase instead of being confronted with incriminating audio and video.

NASCAR and its fans certainly want this issue to go away. Can it?

The reason the entire sordid episode began has yet to be honestly addressed by anyone.

Notes

Brian Scott plans Cup debut: Richard Childress Racing driver Brian Scott will try to make his first Cup start in the Oct.12 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the team announced this week. Scott will drive the No.33 Chevrolet.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I got into racing. I really like the track and it will be really cool to do that in front of the NASCAR home crowd,” Scott said of his first Cup start.

Scott is seventh in the Nationwide Series standings and will pull double duty at Charlotte, also competing in the Dollar General 300.

Ryan Truex tries again: Ryan Truex, the younger brother of Cup driver Martin Truex Jr., will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing in Sunday’s Cup race at Dover (Del.).

Ryan Truex has competed in the car on two previous occasions, at Bristol (Tenn.) and two weeks later at Richmond, Va., where he finished 35th – his best result.

Kevin Harvick adds sponsor for 2014: Kevin Harvick will have another familiar sponsor when he moves to Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 season.

Jimmy Johns, which has sponsored Harvick at Richard Childress Racing, will sponsor the driver in 12 races in 2014.

Kurt Busch picks up No. 41: Sources confirmed to the Observer that former Cup series champion Kurt Busch will drive the No. 41 Chevrolet next season, which will be his first with SHR.

Busch’s number turns out to be the opposite of that of team co-owner Tony Stewart, who drives the No.14. Busch was hired by team co-owner Gene Haas over the initial objections of Stewart.

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