Jeff Gordon has been added to NASCAR’s 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup as a 13th driver, on Friday, September 13. Because naturally, you can’t make this stuff up.
NASCAR CEO Brian France and President Mike Helton had a brief press conference Friday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. and mainly cited “extraordinary circumstances” based on the events in the last 10 laps at Richmond last week.
“Based upon the totality of our findings, to be fair and equitable we decided that adding a 13th car to this year’s Chase is the appropriate action,” France said in a statement. “Beginning with our decision Monday, which resulted in an unprecedented team penalty, and continuing with further examination of actions involving two other race teams, it is clear to us that attempts to manipulate the results impacted the Chase field. The integrity of our sport remains the cornerstone of NASCAR, and our actions this week speak to our commitment to ensure a level playing field for all competitors.”
France added during the press conference, “It wasn’t one set of circumstances that led us to this decision. It’s multiple set of circumstamces. Any one of them could have given a disadvantage. It was overwhelming in our view that it just wasn’t fair.”
Additionally, Helton confirmed Penske Racing and Front Row Motorsports would be placed on probation for the remainder of the season for the radio communications from Front Row regarding David Gilliland, its driver, and Joey Logano, Penske’s exchanging positions late in the race.
A mandatory meeting will be held with drivers, crew chiefs and owners on Saturday to clarify rules and evaluate the ethics of the rules going forward for the series.
A tweet from Gordon expressed his understandable delight.
Wow we just gained 1250 points! Very appreciative of @NASCAR consideration on this matter as well as fans overwhelming support.
— Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) September 13, 2013