February 14, 2007

Doping in Daytona: Days before the NASCAR season begins at the Daytona 500, Michael Waltrip's crew chief and team director were suspended indefinitely after performance-enhancing substances were found in his car's intake manifold -- a property contained in jet fuel. "We're not going to go into any great detail, but it was a foreign substance that we feel should not have been inside the engine, and we'll leave it at that," said an official. The substance, called an oxygenate, boosts octane in the fuel and makes it run better at higher horsepower.

posted by rcade to auto racing at 06:43 PM - 41 comments

if you're not cheating, you're not trying. and if you get caught it sucks to be you. with the serious money and prestige that comes with winning the Daytona 500 it is no surprise to me that 5 teams have been reprimanded already. these stiff penalties should scare the other teams straight. plus, all of these teams have a couple months to sit in their garages and try to figure out ways to buck the system for this race.

posted by erkno11 at 06:53 PM on February 14, 2007

I just put jet fuel in my Camry. What a difference!! Toyota was right...."what we learn from racing goes into our passenger cars." Keep up the good work. I'm willing to bet nobody at Toyota knew about the manifolds being tampered with, either. Just how pissed off do you think they are right now!! A marketing nightmare for sure.

posted by eccsport78 at 07:07 PM on February 14, 2007

Man, they're not kidding on tightening things up are they! This is staggering!

posted by Drood at 07:35 PM on February 14, 2007

I thought this story was very interesting. As we have seen in other sports, there is now a whole bunch of whining about how strict their governing bodies are. I believe NACAR would do well to keep up the strict penalties and avoid making the mistake MLB made by letting the steroid problem get as bad as it was "for the goos of the sport"

posted by wisportcheese at 07:37 PM on February 14, 2007

This generation of Frances want the Chevy to win all the races. Reminds me of his granddad that tried everthing to have the Fords win. After Richard Petty won 27 races in the 1967 season including 10 in a row with the HEMI engine in his 1966 Plymouth Belveder body, Bill France Sr. required the 1968 Dodges and Plymouths to carry more weight or run smaller cubic inch engines, 405 cu. in. compared to the 426 cu. in. that were allowed in 1967. He did not restrict the 427 Ford Corba Jet engines or the 427 Chevy engines. NASCAR is soon to loose a loyal fan of 40 + years with all the stupid rules. Just a couple to spur you on: speed limits on pit road, COT, luck dog pass, the Chase, restrictor plate tracks.

posted by coach at 08:17 PM on February 14, 2007

I'm with you coach. Wasn't this stock car racing? The purpose was to pull the car off the assembly line "stock" and race the thing. Yes, you need restraining harnesses roll cages etc. for safety, but man, let's go back to "stock car racing." I would've loved to see that 2 ft. spoiler on the daytona!!

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 08:29 PM on February 14, 2007

I'm with you coach, NASCAR has become a victom of it's own success. The guy who is incharge of tech and tech rules ( Robbin Pembertin) used to be the one of the biggest offenders of bending the rules. I used to do photo work at the races and I have to say the pit road sped limit does make sense. But I agree with you on the rest. Heres a few more. Impound races, closing pit road after the yellow comes out so drivers drive around with shit falling off their cars waiting for it to open. It used to be fun to keep tract of who was running where and when thay might pit. Now ya just watch the pack and wait for the next wreck. Thats when the next pit stop is.

posted by CB900 at 12:54 AM on February 15, 2007

I do find it rather curious that, given the anti-Japanese sentiment from a lot of NASCAR fuckwits, that it's the Toyota's that have been nailed. CB900: The "closed pitlane" thing... F1 has adopted that for this year. Fucking idiots.

posted by Drood at 01:04 AM on February 15, 2007

sloppy work gentleman... everone knows all fair in love and racing... and rubbing is racing... unless you use jet feul...

posted by Peruvianforce at 01:59 AM on February 15, 2007

Rubbing is racing... Such a bullshit expression. Only in NASCAR would a guy who, let's face it, cheated to win races, be so revered. Every other series, deliberately punting people out of races gets you punished, not praised. NASCAR is nothing more than rednecks doing what romans did 2000 years ago. Gawping at chariot races in the hope somebody might die.

posted by Drood at 03:10 AM on February 15, 2007

Thanks for the asinine characterization of the entire sport, and everybody who watches it. Your input is truly impressive.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:04 AM on February 15, 2007

This might be my favorite Nascar quote ever: When he brought his hand out, there was a substance on there that was unlike anything he had ever seen in the inspection line before. Yeah, I know, 32 going on 13.

posted by SummersEve at 06:12 AM on February 15, 2007

TBH, you coming down again? I got the fridge and the couch already moved out to the front porch. Moonshine oughtta be ready by the weekend.

posted by louisville_slugger at 07:30 AM on February 15, 2007

I grew up across the street from the Riverside International Raceway, site of the Winston Western 500. Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Pearson, Petty. Every weekend there was some type of racing there, now, yeah I will watch races on t.v. but thats about it NASCAR has taken something away from it, just doesnt seem as "special" to me anymore....... to many rules

posted by jaclp at 07:41 AM on February 15, 2007

"When he brought his hand out, there was a substance on there that was unlike anything he had ever seen in the inspection line before." Wonder if the substance was made in Henry Co. along a certain creek there!!! In the old days, some of the drivers cut there teeth making 'deliveries' of a 'substance' to nearby folks in Martinsville. Unlikely it was corn squeezings.. but stock car race drivers do have a background that includes running at night with the lights off and they knew what to add to get a boost when needed. More likely it was naptha or kerosene or similar. Modern zero tolerance seems dictated by the polically correct who don't even know where Henry Co is nor the creeks that empty into the Smith River. Piscator

posted by Fly_Piscator at 07:50 AM on February 15, 2007

If they get caught they deserve everything they get. They need to learn to be more discrete. THAT's NASCAR.

posted by scottypup at 08:00 AM on February 15, 2007

The rather timid comment by the Toyota official seems odd. The new Toyota Camry is said to be having a tough time creating the speed of the Detroit mfrs, I wonder if team Toyota was involved themselves. Seems as if a team would have to test a jet fuel additive sometime to risk using it for qualifying or racing.

posted by jaygolf at 09:55 AM on February 15, 2007

This is normal for "whitetrashcar". The rules mean even less on the track. The comment on a cheater getting praise for wrecking other drivers on purpose, yes im talking about the late "imbreader" opps I mean "imtimadater". nascar is a total joke. If they would actually enforce the rules evenly, not based on who broke the rule. We did not renew of 16 brickyard tickets. We will spend even more of our time following Fomula 1 and World Rally Car. nascar can learn TONS by watching the governing body of Formula 1 work. They stripped the championship from Micheal Schumacher for "dirty driving" in the final race of the season to keep his points lead. And when another team, Red Bull if I remember right was caught messing with the weight of one of their cars, they had the result of BOTH cars totally removed from the results, PLUS they were not allowed to the next two races. In a sport with only 16 so races and companies putting up money that makes nascar team budgets look like go cart teams budgets, this was a HUGE deal, neddless to say the sponsers and engine manufactures were not happy and took alot of negitive press. But that happens at the apex of motorsport. It costs the same amout to build and lease the engine for one F1 car as it does to run 16 cup cars, and each team is required to put 2 cars on the track. That is 32 cup cars. Try getting sponsor money for 32 cup cars to fit on 2 cars that have to look EXACTLY the same. the 2 cars can not have diferent sponsers on them, BAR tried and was almost thrown out of F1 all together over it. These are the types of lessions Nascar needs to learn, becase I say ALOT of EMPTY SEATS at most every track last year.

posted by vipers-pit at 12:26 PM on February 15, 2007

Okay, Schumacher was NEVER stripped of a title. He was excluded from the 1997 season for basically doing what Dale Earnhardt was praised for. He tried to take Jacques Villeneuve out by deliberately driving into him. But put himself out. (HAHA!) However, he was allowed to keep his results, so despite being excluded, all his wins counted. Figure that out. The incident you mention with Red Bull was actually the BAR team (now the Honda works team). They were running an illegal fuel system that was able to modify the weight of the car. Stewards deemed it legal. FIA said otherwise, and excluded them from the results of the race it was found in (Imola 2005) and banned them for a further two races. NASCAR is ridiculous, and I say that as a former fan (So suck on it Black Hand). I usually watch the race at Watkins, and that's it. If I want to see something go in circles, I'll have an argument with my wife, thanks. I take MAJOR issue with anyone claiming that F1 is run any better than NASCAR. All governing bodies are as deranged as one another, but I do believe there is less cheating in F1 these days, because of all the sponsors and money involved. The last actual cheating I remember (and I don't count the BAR debacle in 2005) was Benetton allegedly running illegal traction control in 1994, but it could never be proven. When a team like Toyota have a budget of $500 million in F1, and poodle around at the back of the grid a lot of the time, I really can't see them daring to risk cheating. BAR never really suffered for their transgression, in as much as it had no lasting repercussions (since the takeover by Honda was already planned), but it was still bad for the sport. Though the fact of the matter is the "cheating" in question was of dubious merit to start with, and to be honest I think it was sabre rattling from the FIA. F1 has always had rules with grey areas, unlike NASCAR's black and white. This years McLaren skirts the edge of legality in a couple of areas from the technical analysis I've read, a fact which is for sure going to be brought up if McLaren happen to do very well. Generally in F1, if something is of dubious legality, rather than complain right away, teams will put it in the bottom drawer and save any official protest for when it is most beneficial. (Ferrari and Bridgestone's complaint about the Michelin tyres at Monza a few years ago for example. They'd run that design of tyres for over a year before Ferrari and Bridgestone complained.) Then there was the farce of Renault's "mass dampers" last year which the stewards ruled legal, the FIA then overruled them, then, if I remember rightly, Renault submitted it to the stewards again, who ruled it legal again, then Renault decided not to run it and fight the FIA for A) the good of the sport, and B) the fact the FIA, like any ruling body, take criticism personally and would have spanked Renault hard, and, given how it shook out, cost them the championship.

posted by Drood at 01:51 PM on February 15, 2007

As jet fuel is just cleaned up kerosene, I don't think that it would be a viable thing to try. They would be lucky to get the engine lit, it takes quite a bit of heat to get it going. The only reason turbine engines continue to run is because it is constantly burning. However if they could get it going it would produce more power. Kerosene produces 19,000 btu more energy per gallon than gasoline.

posted by jfrisbi at 02:14 PM on February 15, 2007

"Hey, there's nothin stock about a stock car." -Harry from Days of Thunder

posted by timdawg at 03:03 PM on February 15, 2007

This is normal for "whitetrashcar". You know, for somebody who characterizes a sport as "whitetrashcar," you appear to have a third-grade level grasp of writing, at best. Maybe you should take a long, hard look in the mirror before you prance around namecalling. NASCAR is ridiculous, and I say that as a former fan (So suck on it Black Hand). What are you, 12 years old? You don't like the sport, that's fine, leave the "suck on that" garbage on the playground.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:32 PM on February 15, 2007

Yesterday I was thinking that Toyota probably wasn't aware of the substance, but after thinking about it a bit I'm not so sure. And Michael falling on a sword in the press conference made me even more suspicious, I don't know why. (I know he had to do it being the car owner) I just can't see how Toyota wouldn't be aware of anything related to the engine, especially since this is the first Cup race they've run. They had guys all over that motor. Holy shit, their F1 budget is a half a billion a year?? Really? They haven't even won a race. Maybe they signed the wrong Schumacher.

posted by eccsport78 at 04:45 PM on February 15, 2007

Michael Waltrip needs some help. He hasn't seen the checkered flag in how long? Is he gay? Maybe Tim Hardaway would know.

posted by FIYH at 06:15 PM on February 15, 2007

Yes. Toyota's operating budget for F1 is estimated to be half a billion. Conclusive proof that in racing, money does not always equal success.

posted by Drood at 07:12 PM on February 15, 2007

Here is the lates list from Business F1 magazine - http://www.f1editorial.com/index.php?page=show_news&articleID=1857 McLaren: $400m Toyota: $393m Honda: $382m BMW: $378m Ferrari: $329m Renault: $300m Red Bull: $201m Williams: $134m Super Aguri: $95m Midland: $75m Toro Rosso: $66m NASCAR has about the same level of commonality with a street car as an F1 machine, but without all that pesky technology in the way As for Nascar, whether Toyota is really using outrageous salaries to stock its Nextel Cup outfits is a matter of debate. The most vocal criticism has come from those affiliated with Ford, which lost driver Dale Jarrett and his UPS sponsorship to Michael Waltrip's startup Toyota team. In a Jan. 17 New York Times report, Ford Racing head Dan Davis called Toyota "predators," claiming he had heard Waltrip signed Jarrett for $20 million, and that another Toyota team, Red Bull, lured engineer John Probst from Ford by doubling or tripling his salary

posted by vipers-pit at 11:45 PM on February 15, 2007

Black Hand. Spelling has ZERO bearing on intelligence. Yes I suck a spelling. Especially when I take 2 Vicodin as I did this morning. I normally run my posts through a spell check and forgot to do it on that post so I misspelled 7 words. Wait.... Crap the world just stopped spinning. I find it funny that you could not challenge any of the facts I posted. You just like to cry like a typical NASCAR fan. I will watch some of the races if when they are in HDTV and they do not conflict with a F1 or WRC race. It does look good on the 125 inch HD. But I can feel my IQ drop 2 points every time I have to listen to that moron DW say bogity bogity bogity. OMG anyone not insulted by that does not understand why they should be insulted

posted by vipers-pit at 12:06 AM on February 16, 2007

vipers-pit, I didn't challenge your facts because I didn't have a problem with them. I do have a problem with your lousy attitude towards the sport, and your characterization of those of us who enjoy it as "white trash." Darrell Waltrip is indeed annoying, but if you can feel your IQ dropping just because he repeats an inane phrase every week, the problem is less with him than it is with you.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:02 AM on February 16, 2007

Yes I suck a spelling Which one? This one, or this one?

posted by SummersEve at 05:26 AM on February 16, 2007

Good for Dale J. If he got $20 million, that's just great. I see they got another one.... Jeff Gordon for having a car ride to close to the track.... caused by a broken part... so he didn't get axed... just moved to last in the restart.

posted by Fly_Piscator at 07:19 AM on February 16, 2007

When The Green Flag Drops The Bullshit Stops!!!!!

posted by Rabbit504 at 07:59 AM on February 16, 2007

Formula 1 governance better than NASCAAR??? Three words, USGP Indianapolis Michelin. On 'cheatin'- It's a shame that what used to be a fun part of NASCAR has now become a media fueled crisis of credibility. I guess this comes with the territory of mega-buck teams and competition for sponsorship. The good ol' boys are all but gone, replaced by the fast and the furious. O well, from defeat comes opportunity- I can see it now. OXY-JET, instant horsepower banned by NASCAR but now available for your car...only at NAPA!!

posted by racing-eagle at 09:31 AM on February 16, 2007

Just follow the money. When Ford, GM, Toyota, Diamler Chrysler, Dupont, and other large or larger corporations are involved they do not pay when their name and or company logo is not in the TV shot. Oh yeah, you can throw in NBC and Fox network for the infussion of money that has " Cleaned up the sport. " Take me back to Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Bobby Isaacs, Benny Parsons, the Allison brothers, and the King. I long for the days of " Run what you brung "

posted by Ironhead at 10:29 AM on February 16, 2007

Me too Ironhead. I can't comment too much about F1 or WRC, because I don't watch it, although I can make a statement about the "whitetrashcar" comment. Just for the record, and I'm sure there are more, but both my wife and I have graduated high school, and have earned 4 year college degrees. Hers in business, and mine in lawenforcement. Each nascar team/driver has their own personality, and I know if its not DW you like, I'm sure there's a Robbie Gordon, Tony Stewart, or the King of 2nd place, Mark Martin for you.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 01:10 PM on February 16, 2007

I am from Indianapolis and have been to the greatest race in the world, the Indy 500 many times and really can't see what there is to debate here. Rules are rules and they apply if you are from the current drivers era or the whiskey runners era. The Toyota team broke the rules so live with it and pay the price. I personally don't like to see the Toyota team come to NASCAR I think stock car racing is 100% American but I guess that is being close minded, or a red neck. Even though Indy draws more fans to one race than 5 stock car races so many different countries taking part in the race and the Honda / Toyota participation has hurt the attendance at Indy. Lets stick to the rules and just race. By the way Indy is America's race NOT Daytona

posted by sportnut at 02:04 PM on February 16, 2007

I am from Indianapolis and have been to the greatest race in the world, the Indy 500 many times and really can't see what there is to debate here. Rules are rules and they apply if you are from the current drivers era or the whiskey runners era. The Toyota team broke the rules so live with it and pay the price. I personally don't like to see the Toyota team come to NASCAR I think stock car racing is 100% American but I guess that is being close minded. Even though Indy draws more fans to one race than 5 stock car races so many different countries taking part in the race and the Honda / Toyota participation has hurt the attendance. Lets stick to the rules and just race. By the way Indy is Americas race NOT Daytona

posted by sportnut at 02:09 PM on February 16, 2007

I was born in South Bend. Grew up in the south where I still live. Indy WAS America's race.. Now it is Nascar.

posted by Fly_Piscator at 02:47 PM on February 16, 2007

When there is a race in the WORLD that draws as many fans(400,000 in one day) and has the purse that Indy has you can feel free to call it America's race. Any current driver alive old or young will tell you too win Indy is the greatest victory in racing bar none. How many race tracks have an 18 hole golf course in the infield. I think Daytona is a great race but it is yet a baby compared to Indy. It will never achieve the world wide popularity that Indy has. For that matter the Brick Yard 400 draws more fans than Daytona. Have you ever been to the Indy 500?

posted by sportnut at 03:42 PM on February 16, 2007

I live in Indiana. I am a looong time NASCAR fan and have been to the Brickyard twice (birthday present from my sons). I have been to many Indy 500 time trials. There was a difference years ago in the cars. The Indy cars were made for one purpose and only one, to race. They are lighter, run on alcohol, have on board jacks, take one nut to remove each wheel, ect. The NASCAR cars were win on Sunday and buy on Monday type of cars. Many probably do not remember Plymouth sending Richard Petty cars with vinyl roofs that came loose at Daytona and bubbled up. However now NASCAR cars are made to race with who knows where the engines come from or where the transmissions come from or any of the other parts. Maurice Petty was the builder for Lee and Richards cars. Dale Inman (Richard's cousin) was the crew chief and I could buy the same body style because in order to run the car the manufacture had to sell 1500 cars of the same to the public, thus the Plymouth Superbirds and Dodge Daytonas and the Ford Talledga and the Mercury Mauraders. They didn't come from the factory with roll cages but you could tell what they were. One last thought and I am finished, I would rather watch a race where on the last lap there were more than one or two cars capable of being the winner. Many times of 500 miles of NASCAR racing there will be 15 or 20 cars on the lead lap. When was the last time an Indy car race could make the statement? So long, Coach

posted by coach at 11:06 PM on February 16, 2007

coach, I lived in Indianapolis my whole life, and am now an automotive supplier to many OEMs and transplants. I also supply Roush,Panoz,Saleen, and a few other companies that are heavy into racing. I also was into the Super Bird, Dodge Daytona. and Ford Talledga which had a 428 cora Jet Engine on board. I am a motor head. I agree with you on every point you make, but going to the Indy time trials which draws as many fans as most of the NASCAR races and the Brick Yard is not the same as the Indy 500 race. I am also a very big NASCAR fan but the fact is NASCAR came to Indy to start the BrickYard race which by the way is the highest paying race in the Nextel series and if you asked, many drivers would have to think twice about which race they would rather win. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon grew up a stones through from Indy and their interest in racing was developed from the popularity of the Indianapolis 500. One more thing. I live in the Detroit metro area and am also a big fan of all the area teams and i want you to know in most cases I feel your pain. At least I have the Colts, which is coached by a good ole Jackson Michigan guy. By the way in the last 15 or 20 years many races at Indy have been won by a photo finish of less than 1 second.

posted by sportnut at 10:13 AM on February 17, 2007

I've never been to Daytona, sad to say, but attended the Indy 500 from 1980-to 1995. I have to say that most years the Saturday antics on Georgetown road and the Snake Pit (gone but not forgotten) on race day were better shows than the race, with a couple of great exceptions. NASCAR on the other hand, with a few races here and there always puts on a great race with a lot better attitude towards the fan. Tony George made the best decision of his career when he scheduled the Brickyard 400.

posted by racing-eagle at 12:06 PM on February 17, 2007

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