Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dilner's report, NASCAR's denial could come up in visit at Speed Channel

I am going over to Charlotte later today to see the folks at the Speed Channel, and I imagine there will be lots of conversation about what happened after Sunday’s race at New Hampshire.
My visit doesn’t stem from that incident – in fact, I had to cancel it a couple of weeks ago after my trip from hell to California and back and we’ve just now found a time to reschedule it. But the timing winds up being pretty good.
Just to review, several hours after the Sylvania 300 on Sunday, Speed’s Bob Dilner went on the air with a report that NASCAR had taking a close look at the wheels off race-winner Kevin Harvick’s car and those from his teammate Jeff Burton’s car.
Dilner reported that the wheels had been milled in a manner that would allow air to bleed from the tires as air pressure built up in them. He was very specific in his report, saying that a 0.003-inch slot had been laser-cut into the rim. Dilner also reported that NASCAR would take no punitive action against the Richard Childress Racing teams, but that the teams had been told not to bring wheels with that modification back to the track.
But on Monday, NASCAR officials said Dilner’s story was wrong. Spokesman Jim Hunter’s actual term was that it was "one reporter’s unsubstantiated fantasy."
Hunter said NASCAR did not have any issues with the 31 and 29 cars and that the team was not told it couldn’t bring anything back to the track. The team denied any wrongdoing as well, but Speed continues to stand by its reporter and his story.
So what really happened?
Well, everything that I know for sure I just told you.
Before even going to see the Speed folks, I will tell you this. I believe that Bob Dilner believes his story was accurate.
As a viewer, Dilner gets on my nerves with his incessant preening before the camera, and he moves his hands and arms around so much that if you gave him an orange flashlight he’d look like a guy parking planes at the airport. But he does work hard and he does have sources in the garage. His information on this story is very detailed, so for that reason and so many other obvious ones, too, it’s hard to believe he just made it up.
But I’ve also talked with several people connected with RCR who swear they did nothing to alter the wheels on their cars. Obviously, they have a stake in this. But their denials are very specific, too, in ways that are hard to immediately pick apart.
One thing that is certain is that NASCAR is paying very close attention to tires, tire valves and wheels to check for teams playing games. On Monday, Hunter said NASCAR has been checking for ways to bleed air for about four months. At a race earlier this month, I personally heard John Darby come over the scanner and tell an official to check the tires on one team’s car after a run. That team’s crew chief came over the radio and told his driver, "They think we’ve got bleeders. That’s funny."
Maybe what happened Sunday night is that NASCAR thought it had found something and the officials and inspectors started talking about what they might be looking at, and some of that talk made its way to Dilner. Then, after a closer look, the officials realized nothing was amiss, and that word didn’t get to the reporter before the story aired.
Maybe I will know more when I get back from Speed’s headquarters later today. I will let you all know if I do.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

David,
At least it's more interesting than the how many commercials is too many debate...Still, I wonder who told him.

Jon said...

Is this going to be one of those deals where Dillner goes to jail because he refuses to give his source up? Dillner I hearby hold you in contempt of court. Bailiff take him away.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what a bleeder was after hearing the conversation on NASCAR's Raceday Scanner between that crew chief and his driver. I respect Dilner's reporting talent. I honestly don't think he made it up, but don't understand why anyone especially NASCAR would deny the reports. Guess we'll wait and see if there is any difference in the performance of the RCR cars this weekend

Anonymous said...

I think that the report is true and NASCAR is just keeping it quite because of the insane backlash with the shocks on the 48 and 5 last year after Dover during the chase. Lets see if this pops up in the off season sometime when they update the rule book.

Redvette said...

What would a rulebook update prove? NASCAR already said they were experimenting with different ways to bleed tires. NASCAR would take the backlash vice losing credibility for their precious Chase if something came out later. More than likely Jack wants to distract RCR from racing his teams.

Anonymous said...

Na$car is rotten to the core, I wouldn't put it past them to tell Dilner to shut his pie hole, can't taint the mother of all sports playoffs, otherwise known as the "Chase".
Either way, truth or non truth, it stinks worse than Pepe Le Peu. If its a lie, the team that tipped off Dilner should get a 100 point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Why is no other teams saying anything about this? Didn't one of Biffle's crew take a picture with his cell phone at the infamous HMS "Shockgate" inspection?
Been pretty quiet since then, are inspections now done in a top secret cave? No impartial witnesses for the prosecution or defense?
Its on my last nerve that people in the garage start rumors that have no truth to them at all. Its been coined as trial ballons, its really nice of these creeps to drag the fans through the septic tank with them. I know I enjoy it like I enjoy a root canal.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall some iregularity being reported at Daytona back in February regarding one of the RCR cars which NASCAR deemed as being OK. The fact that it was an illegal gasket being used to let in extra air seems to have been ignored by the officials even though it's supposedly against the rules. If this rim modification is true, we'll eventually hear about it from somebody on a crew or in the garage area and NASCAR will continue to deny it until they're backed into a corner. Their credibility is shot anyways as an officiating organization with all the strange penalties and selective rules enforcement which is to either NASCAR's or a team's benefit.

Anonymous said...

It will be very interesting to hear what you discover with your visit to SPEED.

Personally, I think Dilner was set up by someone with a personal agenda. He played their hand perfectly at his own expense.

My question is why hasn't SPEED TV or Dilner come up with any facts to substantiate their story?

Monkeesfan said...

Let's be honest here. The Race-Stream Media has been notoriously lazy in reporting on cheating, and even more so, in reporting on anything that smacks of unfavorable publicity toward NASCAR. That Dilner would report this is remarkable; not only is it impossible to believe he made it up, it's impossible to take NASCAR and RCR's denials seriously, because we all know the cheating game that goes on in the sport and how teams never fess up, and we also know how sensitive NASCAR is to anything smacking of negative publicity, especially toward a Chase that is still struggling with negative fan reaction and a lack of credibility in that it is strictly a gimmick born of unimaginative desperation on the part of Brian France.

Anonymous said...

Definately will tune in tomorrow for your next report on this saga. Lets hope Dillner erred in his report.

Anonymous said...

the comment about updating the nascar rulebook was enough to send my new laughing elmo into a fit of knee slapping, floor pounding hillarity. that nascar even has a book of rules is urban myth on the scale of the yeti, crocs in ny sewers and i am from the government and i am here to help you. having rules implies enforcement across the board. for us dummies {fans} it seems that nascar's rulebook is about as viable as egypt' book of the dead.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, Harvick's crew chief is the only known cheater in this discussion.

I'll take Dillner's word over just about anyone else on Speed.

Anonymous said...

Ratings are basically down in general for NASCAR ...

Truth or not ... The ratings will definitely be up for some part of the NASCAR broadcasts this weekend ...

I wouldn't be surprised if Baby Brian had planted the information himself ... Gotta get the fans & such to come check out the latest news to see what's gonna happen next ...

Anonymous said...

My view is Dillner is correct, and NASCAR is again manipulating.

Am I the only one that questions RCR's overnight success this year? Has anyone watched the race again and seen how many times they commented on the ability of the 29 to corner on a dime and unbelievable control. Oh yeh, every other commercial was Kevin Harvick this, Kevin Harvick that.

Regardless - this story will fade just as Harvick and Burton will, and we'll never know the truth.

Monkeesfan said...

anonymous, don't count on Harvick fading. He's always been strong and RCR has experience in title fights.

Anonymous said...

I have read they will yank a reporters credentials for reporting anything unbecoming to the glorious image of Na$car.
And chances are, you will meet Bigfoot or an Alien, before you ever see a Na$car rulebook.

Anonymous said...

BS.. TOTAL BS...
Face it, the report, like every other reporter got word of a HOT story, did not care to verify it from the OFFICAL of NASCAR/// Which would be NASCAR... and ran the story because he was the first to hear it, instant reporter fame.
Dillner has now became the next Dan Rather. So i suppose they only put the bleeder rims on the 29 and 31, not the 07? Look at the stats, they all have been running consistantly for the past 15 races. That is a-lot of cheating. Oh I remember, it's all NASCAR & RCR comspiracy to give RCR a championship 5-years after they lost Earnhardt right? There you go guys, now run that story, a continuing Earnhardt Story, or does 5-years entitle JR. to his first championship? BS=BS

Admit you screwed up Dillner. You have lost my respect and you can no longer be deemed credible untill you confess. Everyone makes mistakes...

Anonymous said...

Say what you want... I find it very very suspicious that Harvick's sponsor, GM Goodwrench was rumored to be leaving RCR and now all of a sudden Kev's on a tear, rip, overnight sensation.

As for Bowyer, who successfully took out two Chase contenders last Sunday, I doubt his car was inspected, and he actually was found with illegal rims in a Busch race about 6 weeks ago.

Harvick mentions the wheels are already mounted on the rims and delivered to the track so how could anyone lazer cut them. What he didn't say is that the rims are already identified to team/driver, and after they are delivered the team writes on each one of them with Chalk where each tire goes on the car and which tire change. For him to bluff that they can't be played with after they are delivered is ludicrous.

Harvick isn't championship material but it doesn't matter, he won't win the Cup. Like Smoke, Harvick's wreckless impatient style will get him in the end. Not to mention he's a total jerk.

Anonymous said...

GM is leaving because they can hardly afford to keep the lights on. That is why they jumped back out of CTS and other series. I suppose Childress has a history of cheating right? You can look at everytime he has revammped his team, performance follows... Old Rusty Wallace fan you are maybe?

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