#11 Denny Hamlin team comments on violation resulting in two encumbered wins
Not once, twice. Two wins were ruled encumbered for Denny Hamlin at Darlington Raceway.
Related: 2017 Darlington NASCAR Penalties
Joe Gibbs Racing said they were effected by “circumstances that are out of your control.” Jimmy Makar, senior vice president of racing operations at Joe Gibbs Racing told his side of the story via ‘Tradin Paint/ on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“We’ve been back to the tech center with the race cars multiple times this year and been checked for these same rear suspension measurements they’re doing that we were found to be out of tolerance on (post Darlington),” Makar stated.
“This measurement that they’re using back at the tech center is new this year the way they’re doing it. … They check it at the racetrack a little differently. And we were fine in pre-race and post-race on the measurements they take there.”
“The problem became when they came back to the tech center, and they measured it in a different way is where we got into the discrepancy on the amount of tolerance.”
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“It’s a little different than just having an illegal part or something like that that just blatantly you try to get by with. That’s kind of black and white, and nobody wants to get involved in that kind of mess. This kind of situation is more of a tolerance, a measurement that they measure at the racetrack.”
“You know you want to take advantage of every opportunity you can to make your race car faster and give your driver all the advantages they can have,” he said. “There is a line there you don’t want to cross, but as long as you’re dancing on that line, you have circumstances that are out of your control sometimes that cause a problem.”
Things get bent. Things move.
“You hit the wall several times during the course of the race with the right rear,” Makar said. “Things get bent. Things move. I think all those things added up to this couple thousandths of tolerance that we were out. It’s not an excuse, but as we look back at it, we did leave ourselves enough room for those things to happen. … Even if you were going to be a little bit inside the (tolerances), you still don’t know if hitting (the) wall one time is one time too many.”
“Within an hour or two or a couple of hours after the end of the race, so we know there’s been a problem or not,” Makar said. “That’s not in our hands. NASCAR has got to figure out how to do that. It’s not an easy thing.”
“This is my opinion and my opinion only, but I think you could’ve taken every car that finished that race this weekend and found most of them have a little bit of the same problem,” Makar said. “It’s just what it is. But that’s not the way they inspect after a race.”