Roger Penske defended his team this morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, denying that Penske Racing made a deal with Front Row Motorsports during the Chase-deciding event on Sept. 7 at Richmond International Raceway.
Both squads were placed on probation through the end of 2013 after the emergence of radio conversations from Richmond that had Front Row’s Frank Kerr (crew chief for driver David Gilliland) indicate his team would gain some sort of reward in exchange for Gilliland allowing Penske’s Joey Logano to gain a position in the closing laps.
No radio transmission from Penske Racing to Front Row has come to light, but that didn’t stop NASCAR from making its decision against the two teams last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. That bit of news was overshadowed considerably by the addition of Jeff Gordon as a 13th Chase driver following the events of Richmond.
“We didn’t do anything, quite obviously,” Penske said today according to Dan Gelston of The Associated Press. “When I heard the crew chief on whatever car it was made all this big noise, we didn’t have any deal at all. That’s how people role play stuff in NASCAR.
“I think at the end of the day, it worked out for everybody and we’re moving on.”
NASCAR has since altered rules regarding the spotter’s stand after Richmond, banning the use of digital radios and keeping each team to just one spotter on duty. The AP’s Jenna Fryer reported yesterday that spotters will now have three analog radios at their disposal, up from the original number of two; however, only two of the three analog radios can transmit.