Q: Did you all ever consider taking away the win, and is there any thought of giving teams that are in the Chase higher penalties for Chase infractions?
No, as you know we don't consider taking away the win. And to follow that up, we feel like the penalties are – we are trying to be consistent throughout the year, and if you ask some, they would consider a 150-point penalty with only nine races to go in the Chase a pretty hefty penalty at that. For now we'll leave the winners as they come off the racetrack, and we will fine people accordingly as we do throughout the year.
Q: I know you don't want to get into too many specifics about what was wrong with the car, but the penalty announcement mentioned a couple of violations, equipment and I assume what was wrong with the placement and so forth. Are those things related, or are we talking about two different situations here? JOHN DARBY:
No, they're all related. The racecar itself is considered race equipment, and basically those are the two sections of the rulebook that pretty much encompass cars, car parts, components, so on and so forth. The construction dimensions and things probably more relate to the second violation.
Q: Have you guys looked at other RCR cars, the 29 and the 31, and have you seen any issues with those throughout the year that would suggest that maybe they were headed in this direction with the 33?
ROBIN PEMBERTON: Other RCR cars have been through here, have passed their post-race inspections. We haven't seen that problem.
Q: Kind of back to what was asked earlier about how you pass on Sunday and then fail on Wednesday, it seems like there's a lack of trust issue among fans, in that they can't trust what they see on Sunday. ROBIN PEMBERTON:
You know, we do our final post-race inspection on Tuesdays, and it's not any different than if we were at 9:00 on a Sunday night and tore an engine down and would find it to be big. By then the fans have gone, they've left the racetrack, and they understand the winner is the winner.
Q: Robin, you've been on both sides of the coin here. Going back to 1990, from a competitor's standpoint, what are the emotions that go through your mind when you face a penalty like this? ROBIN PEMBERTON:
I'm sure it hasn't changed throughout the years for anybody to have won on Sunday and not been able to feel good about it on Monday or Tuesday, and I'm sure it's a knot in their stomach and a lump in their throat when things like this happen. It's not any easier on our part than it is on the competitor, because we sure don't want these types of things to happen, either. Q: Do you still have the 33 car? If so, when might that be returned? And, why not consider the 195-point penalty and just take away all the points? I understand the comment about 150 following up from two years ago, but in essence this is an illegal car and it still gained 45 points. ROBIN PEMBERTON:
I think that going back to the points penalty, you know – at some point in time I think that you will see it continue to rise and you may even see it be more than what you can even gain by starting a race. It could get into the 200-point category at some point in time. We'll get there sooner or later for you.
Q: After both the 5 and the 48 cars were found to be – you didn't quite say illegal after Richmond but you certainly found problems with them, so how come the Hendrick cars were not put under the same kind of scrutiny as the RCR car?
Well, they were. When we work with the teams, when they see them heading in a direction that could wind up bad for everybody, we get together and we talk about it. Hendrick immediately fixed any errors that they had in what, moving forward, could become a problem, and that's the difference between that and today. These problems, these issues, weren't addressed.
Q: Is it possible that on-track contact could have caused the problem? The car had to be pushed in by a tow truck. Could that have caused the problem?
ROBIN PEMBERTON: We looked at a lot of different things, and we feel like we have a lot of documentation from cars for the last four years or so, and we understand that we have had cars with some severe body damage and cars without, and we don't feel that the incidental contact from a push from a wrecker helped push this car out of tolerance at all.