Gibbs' Nationwide Teams Cut by Double Edged Sword with "Dyno-Gate"

Connor GriecoContributor IAugust 20, 2008

People make mistakes.

Gibbs' Nationwide Series crew guys made a big blunder, but I'm not 100% convinced that it's totally unwarranted. 

Back in July, NASCAR made all Toyota teams reduce their horse power by approximately 15hp based on the fact that their engines were producing more of it. 

What's confusing is that the Toyota teams were acting within the guidelines and rules that NASCAR provides.  So why the slap?  Protecting their US manufacturers who can't seem to figure out the COTs yet?  Hmmm.

Fast forward to last weekend in Michigan. JGR used tiny magnets under the gas pedal to show reduced horsepower during dyno testing (measures hp). 

This was because the team, again, found a way, within NASCAR rules, to get more horsepower out of their engines, yet were afraid of being slapped again for registering too much of it. That's what working harder and smarter gets you.

NASCAR has now imposed a strict ruling where multiple crew members were fined, are off the track indefinitely, and have lost points for their drivers and team.  On top of that, Tony Stewart's and Joey Lagano's Nationwide seasons are finished. Seems a bit harsh.

I think we'd all agree that cheating is cheating. There was no need for the team to hide the extra horsepower. 

The bigger issue lies in Toyota's ability to invest more dollars, R&D and resources and has found a winning combination... In a time when the US manufacturers are pulling back, Toyota has the resources to keep the sport going and mix things up a bit from the norm. 

I mean, Toyota is practically more American as they have numerous plants in the US, where as most US manufacturers have moved many of their parts and assembly plants outside our border. But I digress.

Mistake? Yes. Warranted? Questionable. It was poor judgment by a few crew members that is going to make a top team look bad.  I don't think this should reflect on Joe Gibbs Racing as a top rated, first class organization.  

Like most champion-caliber folks, JGR's team will rise above this and will continue to prove why they are one of the top teams... hard work, perseverance and delivering wins.

So, like I said, people make mistakes...