The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

September 12, 2013

Motorsports: Kerr at heart of new Chase controversy

Former Valley resident now a crew chief

(Continued)

Truex, who took the news hard, according to good friend Ryan Newman, broke his silence Wednesday in a series of posts on Twitter.

"I drove the hardest race of my life that Night & was unaware of any other circumstances other than needing to finish as high as I could to have a chance," Truex tweeted. "This has been a very difficult situation for everyone involved. I hope we can all move on. I'm looking forward to Chicago."

The Chase begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

It does so marred by the MWR controversy, and now the suggestion that Front Row hit up deep-pocketed Penske for compensation to get Logano into the 12-driver field while someone else was tanking the race.

A review of Logano's team radio reveals no communications indicating any discussions with Front Row. Logano is told only right before the final restart that he's racing three cars for position, one of which is Gilliland.

Penske and Front Row are both Ford teams and considered partners, and statistics analyzed by AP also show that after Logano passed him, Gilliland's lap times dropped off by almost 1 second from the times he was running prior to the radio exchange.

NASCAR said it was aware of the communications "and is looking into it, but has yet to see anything in full context that requires any action."

Front Row spokesman Jeff Dennison said the team did not heed a Penske request to give Logano track position before the final restart. An email to a Penske spokesman was not immediately answered.

All of this happened just before the MWR controversy.

Newman was on his way to a victory that would have given him the final spot in the Chase field when Clint Bowyer spun, bringing out a caution. That set in motion a chain of events that cost Newman the win and the Chase berth. It also cost Jeff Gordon a Chase berth and put Truex and Logano into the final two spots.

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