Crew Chiefs at Joe Gibbs Racing Saying, Hey Remember Me?

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IJanuary 21, 2009

Raise your hand if you remembered that crew chiefs Dave Rogers and Jason Ratcliff were still serving their suspensions from NASCAR.

Some of you may have forgotten but officials at Joe Gibbs Racing have not.

The two are serving indefinite suspensions from NASCAR after they placed magnets under the gas pedals of their Toyota's in the Nationwide Series last season at Michigan. They were attempting to manipulate the horsepower the cars were making when NASCAR decided to test them.

Weeks earlier NASCAR limited the horsepower made by all cars in the Nationwide Series after complaints by many in the series of Gibbs and the Toyota domination. Then after each race NASCAR would test select cars from each manufacturer for a reading on the horsepower they were making.

Ratcliff is the crew chief for the No. 18 car driven by Kyle Busch and Rogers is the crew chief for the No. 20 driven by Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Brad Coleman. Five other crew men were also suspended.

NASCAR suspended them and so far they have not been reinstated. However, J.D. Gibbs said that when they are, the Gibbs organization will penalize them for an additional race.

"When NASCAR officially says—which they haven’t—[that] it’s over, we’ll hold them one more race,” Gibbs said. “They haven’t said what they’re going to do. Hopefully they will say they’re reinstated for next year and we’ll probably hold them from Daytona.”

The team filed for reinstatement last week but no decision has been handed down by NASCAR as of yet.

The reaction by some fans is that the suspension should last longer, perhaps another year or two in order for them to fully learn their lesson. Others are saying that it's time to go back to work to support their families.

While the two were gone, the No. 18 car went on to win five more races by the end of the year. Kyle Busch won four of them and Denny Hamlin won the other with interim crew chiefs.