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SpeedTV Reporter Caught Lying
Monday, September 18, 2006 - reddit
Bob Dilner reported that RCR teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton were found by NASCAR to have modifications to their wheel rims that allowed them to bleed off tire pressure during the race. Dilner claimed that this would have given the cars a performance advantage, but I suspect Dilner took that on faith from his source since I can't see how that would be the case. With the very fabric of the report in question, I can only wonder what Dilner was thinking, not even trying to get a confirmation or quote from NASCAR on the issue.
The deal with tire pressure is this: the tires heat up a ton during the race so the air pressure increases. The higher the pressure, depending on where you start out at, the less grip you are going to have. They start out with very low pressure so than when the tires heat up, they are right where they want to be.
Allowing the tire to bleed pressure over time will only cause it to be under inflated, and the car will be wildly loose at the beginning of a run and become virtually undriveable near the end of a run.
"The cars of Richard Childress Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton were found to have a performance advantage in post-race inspection following the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway."Without evidence, this borders on libel, and I'm not the only person who smelled a rat in this story.
"Those cars were completely legal, there was nothing wrong with either of them and the report stating otherwise is sheer fantasy and sensationalism journalism," NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said.I've seen Dilner on TV before and I think he's a decent sports reporter, but this man is not a journalist - at least not anymore. The report is completely unsubstantiated by anyone other than Dilner, and the spokesperson for the sanctioning body reported as to have found the problem, has completed denied any such event ever took place.
I heard the last few seconds of a report on the news this evening that said RCR is attributing the false report to another disgruntled team, but I've heard nothing to substantiate that claim either. One thing is for certain, NASCAR loves to make the people they catch cheating look bad. They have a long table set up at the track before each race with car parts sprawled across the surface. Each part is said to be the actual part removed from the offenders car, marked and described for all to see so that nobody would have the nuts to try something like that again.
When Jimmy Johnson was caught with shocks that modified the height of the car during the race but not during the post-race inspection, those very shocks ended up on NASCAR's table of shame. The shocks were not just rigged, but designed from the mill to allow the car to run higher during the race than is ever allowed (in the rear this would create downforce, giving the car more grip, making it faster) only to settle back into a legal height as soon as the race ended but before the post-race inspection would notice.
These shocks were not illegal according to the rule book (they are now) so they were unable to punish the team, but the part showed up on that table, and NASCAR widely shamed Hendrick for pulling the stunt. There was never a question that the team cheated in the only sport where you can cheat without being punished, and finding ways around the rules is a bigger sport than the race itself.
RCR has denied their cars were modified, and NASCAR backed them up. SpeedTV is standing by the report, called "sheer fantasy" by NASCAR, and Fox Sports who repeated the report has yet to issue a retraction. They blame SpeedTV.
The AP didn't pick up the original story, but they do have this one. SpeedTV is looking incredibly incompetent right now, and I suggest Dilner come clean with his source unless he wants to be the joke of the garage for the rest of his career.
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