Loomis fined, Gordon
Robbie Loomis, crew chief of
the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup
Series, was fined $25,000 Tuesday after running an illegal
intake manifold during the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at
Richmond International Raceway last weekend.
Jeff Gordon, driver of the
same car, was docked 100 championship points for the same
offense. He will however keep his status as winner of the
race and will keep the $130,220 that he won. His loss of 100
points will not affect his 10th place points
Loomis was cited for
violations of the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book,
Section 12-4-Q: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that
the parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not
conform... or have not been approved by NASCAR..."
"The General Motors intake
manifold that the No. 24 team used during Saturday night's
race in Richmond has not been approved," said Mike Helton,
NASCAR's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
"The GM part number on the casting was the same, however, a
different material was used which altered the properties of
"The changed casting was not
resubmitted by GM for NASCAR's approval in accordance with
According to Gordon,
the intake manifold used was not made by Hendrick
Motorsports, and was supposed to be an approved
"It was manufactured by GM
and we've used it since May," Gordon said. "We've gone
through numerous NASCAR inspections with the same piece
without any problem.
"It just upsets me because
this team worked hard for that win in Richmond, and I
believe these allegations that we cheated will undeservedly
overshadow that victory."
Motorsports does not feel that they were cheating in any
way either. Rick Hendrick, CEO of Hendrick Motorsports
issued this press release:
"We have notified
NASCAR that we will appeal the penalty imposed on the #24
team following our victory Saturday night in Richmond.
Not only do we feel a full hearing on the facts will
exonerate our team from any intentional wrong doing, but
it will remove any cloud of suspicion cast over a great
The alleged violation
involves the use of a magnesium alloy rather than
aluminum in the intake manifold. The engine part in
question is not built by Hendrick Motorsports, but is
supplied to us and all other teams by General Motors. The
engine part found to be in violation of NASCAR rules
Saturday in Richmond has a GM part number specifically
listed in the NASCAR rule book as an approved intake
manifold. GM engineers believe that the intake manifold
conforms to all NASCAR rules according to approved
templates, gauges and other measuring devices. Hendrick
Motorsports engineers have tested the part and determined
that it in no way affected horsepower output.
We were under the
impression NASCAR officials have been aware of the use of
magnesium in intake manifolds for several months and had
indicated to GM that it was approved as long as the part
was not altered in any other way.
There was no attempt to
conceal the part, which we have been running since April.
It also passed post-race inspection in Charlotte for two
of our cars. Hendrick Motorsports has a strict policy
that our people abide by the rules. There certainly was
no attempt by us to gain an unfair advantage with a part
available to, and in fact used by, other teams, and we
feel confident this ruling will be reversed on
Duchardt, NASCAR Group Manager for GM Racing said in
a press release Tuesday night, that the fine issued to
Loomis and the points taken away from Gordon and Hendrick
"We are very
disappointed in the penalties by NASCAR against Hendrick
Motorsports and Jeff Gordon.
We supplied these
magnesium intake manifolds to our teams in the clear
belief that they are allowed under the rules. They are
identical in shape and dimensions to the comparable
aluminum manifold, produce no increase in horsepower and
NASCAR has, on many occasions, permitted changes in
materials of components where not explicitly prohibited
by the rules. There is no mention of materials in the
rule on intake manifolds.
There has never been any
intent by GM Racing to provide these parts to teams
secretly or to secure an unfair advantage by doing so.
NASCAR technical officials have been aware of the use of
this manifold for some time. Moreover, on multiple
occasions, engines using these manifolds have been
inspected by NASCAR and pronounced satisfactory.
We pride ourselves on
having open, constructive communications with NASCAR
officials on all matters, especially technical ones. Our
track record over the years is proof enough of that. We
followed the same process as before and believed that the
submission of a new part to NASCAR for approval was not
It is deeply regrettable
that this situation has occurred."