Monday, August 25, 2008
Staying with the "gate" theme, I would like to share my thought's on the Joe Gibbs Racing magnet fiasco. By now most already ready know what happened, but here's a little background.
Earlier this year some of the non-Toyota driver's started talking about a horse power andvantage that Toyota had in the Nationwide series. Dyno test were done and sure enough, they had a 20-30 horsepower advantage (these number's have varied based on who who listen to). As a result, Toyota was issued a smaller restrictor plate than those used on the other cars in Nationwide. This was an effort to bring all the manufactures in line.
At the Michigan race, it was widely known that NASCAR would be testing some cars on the chassis dyno. This was to verify that the Toyota plate was doing it's job. Apparently, some people on the #18 and that #20 team's were concerned about this. It appears they felt that they still had advantage, and if NASCAR found out about it, they would take it away.
So how do you make a chassis dyno test ( the entire car is on the dyno) come up with less horse power than you have. You limit the throttle travel. If the throttle is pushed to the fire wall but only produces 95% of full throttle, the butterfly valves on the carb will only open to 95% and there you have it.
So you take a magnet whose thickness is calculated to only open a given percent, between the pedal and the firewall. But how do you get it there without being seen. The driver does it while still in the car after the race? I've spent 30 laps in a cup car, and beleve me, there is no way I could even come close to touching the pedal let alone put something behind it. Even with the steering wheel off. ESPN was widely criticized for suggesting the driver's did it. I don't buy it.
So that is one of the mystery's, how did they get it in there with the car being in constant control of a NASCAR inspector. We will probably never know, as I suspect a real flaw was found in the inspection process, and NASCAR won't want to publicize what it was. Another mystery is who at Gibbs knew about it. Did it go to all the way to the top? I doubt it. and here's why.
This was possibly the dumbest move I have ever seen. The risk versus reward was horrible. The guy's who decided to go through with this were not the sharpest knives in the drawer. And Joe and JD Gibbs strike me as pretty sharp knives. Add to that, as it turns out, it wasn't even necessary. When tested without the magnet, there was only an 8 horse power gain. Toyota wasn't even in the lead. You mean to tell me that a team the caliber of JGR didn't know the actual horse power the cars were putting out? That they thought they had something to hide? Very strange.
So, all that money, all those employees who might never see the light of day at JGR, all that for nothing. JD Gibbs has said that they will add to the penalties of the employees once they know what they are. But they will not fire them. I'm not asking for blood, but if it was me, I might consider letting the person or person's who signed off on this go based on a lack of good judgment.
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