Toyota Racing Development has recalled three of its engines that were earmarked for Michael Waltrip Racing pilot Clint Bowyer following a parts review. According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, TRD pulled Bowyer’s engine for tonight’s race at Richmond International Raceway, as well as his primary and backup motors for next weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Per Fryer, the parts review found at least one connecting rod in each of the three engines that made Toyota squeamish, especially in the wake of the major sanctions levied against Matt Kenseth and his Joe Gibbs Racing squad this week.
“We took every connecting rod in our inventory and removed anything that was too close for comfort,” TRD vice president David Wilson said to the AP.
“They are using an abundance of caution right now,” MWR team co-owner Rob Kauffman added in Fryer’s piece. “They know — David knows — this cannot happen again.”
One of the rods in Kenseth’s race-winning engine from last weekend at Kansas Speedway did not meet the minimum weight requirement. As a result, Kenseth was docked 50 championship points, while crew chief Jason Ratcliff was hit with a $200,000 fine and a six-week suspension. In addition, Gibbs had his owner’s license suspended for the next six weeks. Toyota also lost five points in the manufacturer’s championship.
JGR has appealed the penalties, and TRD, which makes the engines for the Gibbs and MWR camps, claimed responsibility.