Category: Toyota

Mar 29 2008

Will Roush-Fenway Racing Sue Michael Waltrip Racing over Partgate?

Apparently this weekend Michael Waltrip Racing ended up with a sway bar from Roush-Fenway Racing, and while Michael says it was an accident because of so many parts being strewn around the area, Roush-Fenway is considering legal action because they fell the Michael Waltrip racing went behind their toolbox and took the bar out of their inventory and took it home with them. They also say that the appearance of the bar had been altered when returned from Waltrip Racing and are looking at the incident as not being resolved and are considering legal action.

Michael Waltrip says Jeff Gordon is his spokesman, how the hell could that happen? Apparently Jeff said, “I think we should investigate more. I think we should get the FBI involved.”

Both Gordon and Waltrip said that after post-race inspections parts are left lying around and at times get picked up or even mixed up. Mistakes are made and Waltrip said the part was returned to Roush without dramatics or under any threat from the Roush organization.

Two opinions are being exchanged around the NASCAR garage this weekend in Martinsville. On one hand, some are of the opinion Roush, a Ford-supported operation, is being over-dramatic while others feel the allegation is substantial and when a noted team owner talks of a lawsuit, it should be taken seriously.

Waltrip said, “He [Roush] feels like he was wronged and that is his prerogative and I respect that man,” said Waltrip, before adding, “I hope we don’t dignify this with a whole lot of time and effort … this is not intellectual espionage.” Source:
Waltrip had Roush part, refutes notion it was stolen

While it would be easy to believe that someone would take a part from another team that runs better than them, not to sure if someone from Michael Waltrip Racing would try it, as it would be easy to figure out who has it and whether they are trying to use it or not. In the overall scheme of things, who cares, there’s not much Michael Waltrip Racing can do to improve their racing positions without hiring some competent drivers, IMHO.

Joe Menzer says Jack Roush needs to lighten up and Gordon is still laughing.

“A number of the teams had a number of proprietary parts in our car as we attempt to work within NASCAR’s bounds and do things uniquely for our car that are within the rules that will allow us to get an advantage,” Roush said. “One of the challenges this car has is it’s heavy in the front end. It’s hard to achieve the balance you’d like to have and get enough nose weight off the car to let it balance properly from a weight and balance point of view.

“One of the areas that we’ve worked in is the front sway bar. It’s not subject to a NASCAR teardown inspection. It was not a part that would have been mixed up with other Toyota parts — a front anti-roll sway bar. And within the confines — the package that NASCAR gives you, the material, the dimension, all those things — we designed our own part and we did an analysis of it. We optimized the torsional effect of it with minimizing the weight of it through heat treating and material selection and the way the components were machined and the way it was assembled. …”

Roush rightly was furious. It’s wrong. There’s no doubt about that.

He also mentioned that the part was missing for months before anyone at Roush Fenway Racing realized it, including himself. Source: ‘Partgate’ proves Roush needs to lighten up a bit

Roush says it’s intellectual espionage, the other team has now had an opportunity to see what it does and they have been damaged. Saying, they have been harmed by this theft.

Mar 12 2008

Kyle Busch Gets First Toyota Win in Atlanta

I’ll admit, I thought Tony Stewart would have the first cup win in a Toyota, but I’m not surprised it was Kyle Busch who actually got it. If Kurt Busch can LUCK into a cup championship, then Kyle should be able to dominate a couple championships and luck into a couple more before he retires. Talk about having a pretty good weekend, Kyle started out by winning the Craftsman Truck Series race, dominated the Nationwide series race until he blew a tire and then won the cup race by a couple seconds at least over his teammate, Tony Stewart. Besides being the first win for Toyota, this was also the first time someone has won a truck race and a cup race in the same weekend.

In what was tantalizingly close to a three-race weekend sweep, Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, after the winner of the previous two Sprint Cup races, Carl Edwards, fell out with transmission trouble after 274 of the 325 laps.

In posting the fifth victory of his career, by 2.066 seconds over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Tony Stewart, Busch took Toyota to Victory Lane for the first time in a Cup points race (read more). It was the first triumph in NASCAR’s top series for a foreign manufacturer since Al Keller won at the airport road course in Linden, N.J., in a Jaguar in 1954.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third, followed by Greg Biffle and pole-sitter Jeff Gordon. Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers and Jeff Burton completed the top 10.

“The 18! The 18! The 18 is back at Atlanta!” Busch exulted on his radio after crossing the finish line, referring to the six wins at Atlanta of one of his predecessors in Joe Gibbs’ No. 18 car, Bobby Labonte. Source: Busch returns 18 to Victory Lane, gives Toyota first win

Tony Stewart being Tony Stewart, when they interviewed him , he immediately dogged Goodyear and their tires, as did Earnhardt and Gordon, they were just a little more diplomatic about it.

Tony Stewart: “That was the most pathetic racing tire that I’ve ever been on in my professional career,” Stewart said. “… Goodyear can’t build a tire that is worth a crap. If I were Goodyear, I would be really embarrassed about this weekend and what they brought here. It didn’t keep us from winning the race and how we got to second, I don’t know.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: “I’ll say that Goodyear Tire Company makes good racing tires, makes a safe tire,” Junior said. “There’s a lot of technology that goes into making the tires and I give them a lot of credit. It’s a reputation-risk, just to be in this sport for a company like that, especially … as far as criticism goes. They do a good job. This is just a bad combination. This tire at this track, it was just a poor combination

Jeff Gordon: “I felt like I was going to crash every single lap,” Gordon said. “I’m exhausted right now. I feel like I’ve run a thousand miles here. That was the hardest day I have ever had at Atlanta, especially for a top-five finish. This car, this tire, at this track was just terrible.” Source: Stewart, Earnhardt think bad of Goodyear’s tires

Here is how they finished:

1 6 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Snickers 195/10 325 Running 185,375
2 32 20 Tony Stewart Toyota Home Depot “10 Years Strong” 170/0 325 Running 162,886
3 2 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet AMP Energy / National Guard 170/5 325 Running 121,000
4 13 16 Greg Biffle Ford Jackson Hewitt 165/5 325 Running 107,375
5 1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 160/5 325 Running 138,186
6 7 07 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet DIRECTV 155/5 325 Running 94,850
7 8 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Shell / Pennzoil 146/0 325 Running 124,086
8 38 17 Matt Kenseth Ford DEWALT 142/0 325 Running 124,341
9 35 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 143/5 325 Running 79,300
10 15 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet AT&T Mobility 134/0 325 Running 123,958
11 29 2 Kurt Busch Dodge Miller Lite 130/0 325 Running 79,325
12 5 43 Bobby Labonte Dodge Cheerios / Betty Crocker 132/5 325 Running 114,536
13 11 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools 124/0 325 Running 127,786
14 12 12 Ryan Newman Dodge ALLTEL 121/0 324 Running 115,075
15 22 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground 118/0 324 Running 112,791
16 19 42 Juan Montoya Dodge Wrigley’s Big Red 115/0 324 Running 104,158
17 39 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Kellogg’s / CARQUEST 112/0 324 Running 89,850
18 28 66 Scott Riggs Chevrolet State Water Heaters 109/0 324 Running 93,908
19 20 15 Paul Menard Chevrolet Energizer / Menards 106/0 324 Running 83,425
20 30 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 103/0 323 Running 92,908
21 3 1 Martin Truex Jr. Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 100/0 323 Running 106,233
22 10 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet U.S. Army 97/0 323 Running 108,558
23 14 6 David Ragan Ford AAA 94/0 323 Running 83,950
24 26 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Valvoline / Jim Beam 91/0 323 Running 95,958
25 33 77 Sam Hornish Jr. * Dodge Penske Truck Rental 88/0 323 Running 117,550
26 43 44 Dale Jarrett Toyota UPS 85/0 322 Running 73,825
27 34 84 Mike Skinner Toyota Red Bull 82/0 322 Running 69,800
28 9 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Budweiser 84/5 322 Running 107,141
29 42 28 Travis Kvapil Ford Zaxby’s 76/0 322 Running 99,789
30 27 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA AUTO PARTS 73/0 321 Running 81,508
31 25 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Target 70/0 321 Running 99,489
32 31 38 David Gilliland Ford FreeCreditRep
ort.com 67/0 321 Running 81,722
33 23 40 Dario Franchitti * Dodge Fastenal 64/0 321 Running 80,550
34 16 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Caterpillar 61/0 321 Running 69,025
35 21 10 Patrick Carpentier * Dodge Cintas 58/0 320 Running 68,990
36 17 78 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing 55/0 320 Running 68,955
37 37 96 J.J. Yeley Toyota DLP HDTV 52/0 320 Running 76,920
38 41 01 Regan Smith * Chevrolet DEI / Principal Financial Group 49/0 320 Running 76,885
39 36 70 Jeremy Mayfield Chevrolet Haas Automation 46/0 318 Running 68,850
40 24 26 Jamie McMurray Ford IRWIN Industrial Tools 43/0 317 Running 76,810
41 40 45 Kyle Petty Dodge Paralyzed Veterans of America 40/0 313 Running 68,765
42 4 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 42/5 274 Engine 116,395
43 18 19 Elliott Sadler Dodge Best Buy / Garmin 34/0 257 Accident 94,518

Kyle leads the cup points by 73, he leads the truck series by 72 and, had he not had the flat tire, he would be leading the Nationwide series as well. Quite a good start to the year and I bet Rick Hendrick is thinking right now, “What was I thinking?” Definitely should’ve kept Busch and let Mears go.

Here are the top 12 in the Chase for the Cup:

1 — Kyle Busch 665 Leader 4 1 1 3 3 1,123,940
2 +3 Greg Biffle 592 -73 4 0 0 2 3 764,188
3 +1 Kevin Harvick 574 -91 4 0 0 1 3 795,707
4 -2 Ryan Newman 571 -94 4 0 1 1 2 1,946,140
5 +1 Jeff Burton 555 -110 4 0 0 1 2 767,795
6 +4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 531 -134 4 0 0 2 3 1,029,250
7 -4 Kasey Kahne 528 -137 4 0 0 0 3 832,577
8 +3 Tony Stewart 525 -140 4 0 0 2 3 1,435,830
9 +4 Brian Vickers 491 -174 4 0 0 0 1 553,095
10 +2 Kurt Busch 478 -187 4 0 0 1 1 1,352,620
11 -3 Martin Truex Jr. 471 -194 4 0 0 0 1 717,545
12 +4 Matt Kenseth 470 -195 4 0 0 1 2 743,477

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