Knaus And Gustafson Talk About Tire Tampering In NASCAR


Does NASCAR thing that teams are tampering with tires? Is NASCAR trying to find something that teams are doing that might be considered tampering? The question is starting to be asked after NASCAR took tires from teams in Fontana and sent them for testing at an independent laboratory. This week NASCAR was asked about the tests and the independent lab doing them and they alluded to the fact that it was procedure and that the location of the lab was based on the fact that they were out west.

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This week in Martinsville Chad Knaus (crew chief of the No. 48 team) and Alan Gustafson (crew chief of the No. 24) talked about tire tampering via a Team Hendrick press release. Gustafson discussed whether or not he thought that NASCAR was looking for something specific.

"It’s hard to speculate because that is all I could do. In my experience there is a lot of smoke around that. There is a lot of talk, there is a lot of dialogue and there are a lot of rumors in the garage. Yeah, I think it is obvious that some people think something is going on and is NASCAR reacting to that? Or do they feel uncomfortable with what is going on? I don’t know that answer. But I do think that it is something that is on the forefront of a lot of people minds. Obviously NASCAR is trying to make sure that we are all on level playing field and if anybody is violating that they will pay the price, which they reminded us this morning is very stiff. That is all I know. Anything beyond that is speculation besides the fact it is a hot topic.Do I think something is going on? I mean I’m busy on Sunday’s. I don’t really watch what is going on. It’s hard for me to say. I don’t feel that I have enough information that would warrant a comment."

Knaus followed Gustafson’s comments with similar ones of his own in regards to the possibility that tire tampering is taking place.

"I don’t know. I don’t know if there is anything or not. I really don’t. Like Alan said, I’m busy on Sunday and I don’t have a lot of friends in the garage. So, I don’t talk too much. I don’t talk to anybody else either so it’s okay. My friends are outside of racing. So, I don’t know what is going on. I really don’t. I know I sent Richard Buck (Managing Director of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) a text and said ‘hey man could we poke holes in our tires is that okay?’ He sent me a text back and said ‘absolutely not’. So that is all I know."

NASCAR teams are always looking to push the boundaries. NASCAR makes the rules and places teams in a box, some of those boxes are bigger than others of course. It’s the job of the teams and crew chiefs to find ways to push the walls of those boxes without breaking through them. While it seems as though the teams haven’t gone too far with the tires currently; NASCAR is certainly doing everything in their power to stay the course.

On a side note, the thought of Knaus texting someone in NASCAR about poking holes in tires is somewhat humorous. One has to wonder what other types of questions crew chiefs randomly throw at NASCAR in hopes that something sticks.

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