NASCAR Responds To Idea of Sandbagging At Michigan

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

The talk of the weekend at Michigan International Speedway was that NASCAR was going to be taking cars back from each manufacturer for a competitive analysis, an analysis that NASCAR does often each season..

After qualifying late Friday afternoon, Brad Keselowski believed that Toyota was “sandbagging” due to NASCAR usually taking cars back after the race weekend for competitive analysis.

“I think we’ve seen the last two or three weeks that the Toyota cars are pretty dominant.  We had a strong suspicion that those guys would kind of tune it down this weekend, so not to post a pretty big number in inspection that maybe balanced back out the competition, and potentially that’s right because our team hasn’t done much differently and those guys are just not as fast as they’ve been the last few weeks.  So we’ll know for certain at the end of the week based on whether NASCAR takes the cars after the race today,” Keselowski stated. “I’m not sure if that’s what happened, but it kind of looks that way at the moment, but we’ll still take what we can get.”

When the “sandbagging” comments became public, Toyota drivers and crew chiefs quickly went to social media to comment on Keselowski’s sandbagging comments.

https://twitter.com/colepearn/status/896143422586707968

https://twitter.com/MartinTruex_Jr/status/896139424672530432

After Saturday’s LTi Printing 200 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Michigan, Kyle Busch had stern comments and took Toyota’s response to a new level.

“Brad’s a F***ing moron,” said Busch after the race. “We don’t just turn it down. We actually have a new engine package here this week. He’s a moron.”

Despite the comments, NASCAR took no cars back for a competitive analysis after the Pure Michigan 400.

In his weekly Monday visit with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, admitted that the sanctioning body put out the rumor of taking cars back for competitive analysis.

“We found it kinda comical this weekend. We put a little bit of the rumor out there and candidly it worked. If anyone would have done some serious research, the wind tunnel we use for this is under construction this week so it would have been impossible,” said O’Donnell. “We aren’t going to telegraph when we would do that at a certain racetrack.”

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