Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Key pieces still missing in the Speed Channel report-NASCAR denial puzzle

I really don’t have anything new to add to the earlier posting about the Speed report on the purported wheel issue with the 29 and/or 31 cars from Sunday’s race at New Hampshire.
I met with Hunter Nickell, executive vice president and general manager of Speed, and David Harris, its manager of media relations, as we had previously planned.
We talked about a lot of things, but first we talked about Bob Dilner’s report Sunday night and the reaction to it since.
Nickell and I go way back. When I was still working on the copy desk at The Observer and writing about TV/Radio sports on the side, he was at SportSouth and we dealt with each other regularly. He’s a straight-up guy, based on everything I know, and after talking to him I believe he’s backing his reporter and his story because he believes it was based on solid information that was professionally checked before being reported.
At the same time, I cannot sit here and say I believe that NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing and the people who carry the team’s wheels to the track and the tire guys at Goodyear who mount tires on those wheels are all part of some grand conspiracy to cover up something the 29 and/or 31 teams might be doing.
The denials that you’ve all heard, too, from NASCAR and from RCR, could not be stronger and more definitive.
So what we have here is a puzzle, and I think we’re still missing some key pieces.
The truth is we may never find them. I seriously doubt that Dilner is going to tell anybody exactly who his sources were – I wouldn’t.
I will bet you a bunch of money that Dilner has gone back to those sources since all of this blew up Monday and said, “OK, did I get it right?” And if they had said no, you’d know it by now.
The folks at Speed like Bob’s work and they want to keep developing his talents and on-air skills, and he knows that if he’s wrong on this and doesn’t fess up he’s in for a world of professional hurt.
Friday will be a busy day at Dover. I won’t be there, but Jim Utter and David Scott will be for The Observer and to find out if any of missing pieces to this thing show up.
I’ll be as eager to hear what’s said and done up there Friday as all of you guys will.


Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a Bob Dillner fan, but I think there's something to his story. It was very precise and as mentioned elsewhere, even had the measurement of how much the wheel rims had been shaved down. His report Sunday night said there was no violation, but NASCAR told RCR not to bring these rims back in the future.

Could it be that NASCAR wanted to quell this controversary as soon as they could? Afterall, it would certainly cast doubts on Kevin Harvisk leading in both Cup and Busch points. Not to mention, it would certainly taint the chase.

Didn't I also read earlirer in the week that Richard Childress checked TWICE with NASCAR on Monday to see if they had any concerns with RCR?

If there was no wrongdoing, why would he have done this??

This all sounds ver suspicious to me.

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...

Deep Throat was Dillner's source!

Anonymous said...

Anybody that doesn't believe the RCR cars were tricked up should go back and watch the race and listen to the commentators describing what his car was doing.

Just under miraculous.

They've been cheating all season and I agree it could very well be that NASCAR doesn't want to lose GM Goodwrench as a sponsor, nor do they want anything to taint this Chase - sorry, it's too late.

Both Busch and Cup series have been manipulated by RCR and NASCAR is nothing but WWF these days.

IROC Series in a COT here we come.

Anonymous said...

There's definitely a gap here and someone is not being totally truthful. Hopefully in time, we'll hear the "Rest" of this story.

Anonymous said...

This headline story from TR home page sure looks like a big puzzle piece.

"Ex-employee's lawsuit claims improprieties in engine shop at RCR"

Anonymous said...


This is truly pathetic. A NASCAR conspiracy to keep GM Goodwrench as a sponser. Whats next?

If it isnt Nascar favors Gordon, its Nascar favors Johnson, or Nascar favors Stewart, or Nascar favors this or that and that.

Fuck me what a headache.

"If there was no wrongdoing, why would he have done this??"

To make sure there were no problems with Nascar. YOu have an owner who is hearing this story, he has no idea whats going on so he is making sure there are no problems with the only people that matter.

Now lets see what else...

" 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."

Harvick had won 2 races before this story was brought out in August. Not to mention that was a rumor last year that GM Goodwrench doesnt want to shell out 20 mil a year for a sponser.

"Anybody that doesn't believe the RCR cars were tricked up should go back and watch the race and listen to the commentators describing what his car was doing. "

Jesus you make it seem like a car has never dominated a race before. Yeah real miraculous that a car can lead a lot of laps!! STOP THE PRESSES.

This is what will happen tommorow. Dilner will completly backtrack his story and apologize to save face. The only person out of all this that has something to lose is Dilner. He has the potential to be a major scapegoat and ruin his entire carrer over this.

Personally I could care less, I dont like him, I think hes a terrible on-air personality with an annoying voice....but what else is new in Nascar. Almost every announcer in Nascar is brutal. Weber needs to go.....away.....for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Let's be realistic here, if the media and the fans were to have heard that story confirmed NASCAR would have been catching all kinds of hell about it. So the easiest and simplest thing to do was to deny any wrong doing. RCR was going to deny it outright either way, so NASCAR did the same thing since it fell into the "gray" area. I guarantee they won't run it anymore, and I'll bet that Harvick don't go out and whip the field at Dover either.

Anonymous said...

Dilner was obviously snaked with a bs story. He'll be lucky to have a career after this. Probably kicking himself for falling for it. What a dumbass.

Whatever said...

It'll be interesting to see how the RCR cars do this weekend. If they don't perform it'll make them look a little more guilty.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if dillner likes his 2x4 without grease. To the unhappy employee it is along way from theory to proof. The 29, 31, and 07 passed Nascar inspections, pre and post.

Anonymous said...

how the hell do you know what size groove to laser cut on your rim...??

if you run extra laps extra air leaks out. right?

so, sooner or later the tire goes completely flat.

there is a control issue here. when you can answer that, i'll listen. otherwise it's just dumb.

Anonymous said...

Well meeklo I guess you're wrong again. Dillner didn't retract and in fact said he even went and talked to Nascar before going live, and he happened to say it on Nascar Live this afternoon. Why would someone lying keep on risking his career? Fact: he's not lying.

Burton had a total of ZERO poles in the last ten years, and now he has 4 poles this one year - and you say they aren't tinkering with the engines?

And, well, they both qualified out of the top 15, right where they normally do. How do you want to counter that one?

And finally - after the Daytona 500 the 31/24 cars were held for 6 hours in post race inspection and 'technically' failing post race. Neither team was penalized and it was kept out of the media.

And finally... fuck you? No thanks!

Anonymous said...

"and in fact said he even went and talked to Nascar before going live,"

Wrong idiot. He said he spoke with Nascar after the story blew up and since then still stands by his story.


"Burton had a total of ZERO poles in the last ten years, and now he has 4 poles this one year - and you say they aren't tinkering with the engines?"

Oh so he has some poles and no wins. That makes him a cheat. Right.......

Anonymous said...

Bob Dillner did contact NASCAR before reporting the story live on Speed. They chose not to confirm or deny anything, but the point is, he did attempt to contact them.

NASCAR gave Harvick and Burton a slap on the wrist and told them not to show up again next week with the same thing on their car because they didn't want to make a big deal out of it because it would taint their "Chase." Trouble is, Dillner asked, and sources he trusted told him what was up, and can we really expect a reporter to keep info like that a secret?

If he had any idea it would make his weekend at Dover this crappy I'm sure Dillner wouldn't have broekn the story, but that's all water under the bridge now.

Anonymous said...

I dunno meeko - you seem to be the expert - why don't you tell us all?

No poles in ten years and four this year, 5 overall in his entire career does make people wonder.

If Dillner didn't trust his sources or his story, he would have laid down and begged in Dover, just like you said he would.

He didn't. Please - grace us with your further ramblings...

Monkeesfan said...

The bottom line is RCR got caught, NASCAR didn't punish them - a slap on the wrist is not punishment - and Bob Dilner reported it. NASCAR made fools of themselves here. Bob Dilner did the right thing.

ScottGRacer said...

Many tires from many teams have gone flat under yellow lately. Makes me wonder if they all have been toying with the wheels. Why not just allow bleeders to avoid pressure build-ups? They fail now and then, but, seems more scientific and exact than cutting the rim.
Way out of hand to call it cheating. If there's not a rule it's not cheating. Remember Harry Gant's 4 wins(almost 5)in a row? They were running camber in the rear. When Nascar figured it out they made a rule.
Inginuity isn't breaking a rule that doesn't exist.
Scott G

Anonymous said...

I hear a truck from RCR's rim supplier delivered 50 or so brand spanking new rims to their shop this tuesday. What does that say about Rim Gate. Richard was busted!

Monkeesfan said...

scottgracer, allowing bleeders will just allow more cheating than there already is.

Anonymous said...

Speed had RCR driver Jeff Burton on its "Trackside Live" show Friday night, and Burton refuted the allegations but did not call out Dillner.

"It's sad that this has turned into such a personal assault on Bob and the hard work he does for the NASCAR race fans each week in the garage," said Erik Arneson, Speed Vice President of Media Relations.

"Bob reported on a story that he had multiple sources for and Speed has also reported on the responses from NASCAR and RCR. ... This has never been anything personal against any team or driver and despite the behavior of some of those involved, Speed will continue to report on the week's activities for the NASCAR fans."

Anonymous said...

In the Lounge, with Stix : 09-24-2006

Harvick meet 'Karma', because 'Class' is busy elsewhere
By Jason Stix Buckley

He should have met "Class", but "Class" was with Jeff Burton today. Instead, Kevin Harvick met "Karma", in a big way.


Anonymous said...

Who cares? When are you guys going to wake up and realize your opinion means nothing?

Monkeesfan said...

On Jeff Burton's "refutation" of Dilner's report - come off it, Jeff, the explanation from the RCR side is BS. They got caught, NASCAR gave them a perfunctory slap on the wrist, and Dilner reported it. For a change why can't these drivers just come out and say, "We cheated, we got caught."

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Anonymous said...