Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr share moments they’ve overstepped the rule book and weren’t caught
Cheating has always been part of racing. It’s not just as the NASCAR level, it’s all forms.
But, it’s only cheating until you get caught. Before that, it’s ingenuity that’s gone unnoticed.
In the premier division of stock car racing, the rule book it precise. It’s a thick book, one of the thickest books ever produced. But, that doesn’t keep teams from extorting loopholes.
That said rule book doesn’t prevent teams from attempting to push the boundaries either. Or in some case, flat out ignoring it and hoping for the best.
Cheating in NASCAR
Last year, Kevin Harvick failed post-race inspection following a race win at Texas Motor Speedway. The violation was for a rear spoiler that was 1/4-inch skewed from were it should be.
NASCAR fans are quick to use the ‘cheaters’ term. But, with the thickness of the current rule book, teams are looking for any advantage, no matter how small. Thus, Zipadelli isn’t bothered by the term.
“There was a time in our sport that I would say that was true. There isn’t a car in this garage today that is 100% legal based on the way our tech inspection goes,” Zipadelli continued.
Cheating doesn’t guarantee a win. Sometimes you win and other times you get a tow to the pit area….
Dale Earnhardt Jr on cheating at Myrtle Beach Speedway
Dale Earnhardt Jr has been around racing his entire life. It started with a street stock, progressed to late models before landing in the NASCAR Busch Series. Dale Jr still actively competes in one-off NASCAR Xfinity Series events via his JR Motorsports operation.
Tony Stewart said via the Dale Jr download: “Everybody in racing has cheated.”
Dale Jr: “I know that! I’ll give you one of mine.”
“I put some trick fuel in my car and went to Myrtle Beach and burnt the motor up as soon as I cranked it.”
“I drove four hours to burn the number one piston. Because I didn’t mix the fuel. It went right to the bottom of the fuel cell,” Dale Earnhardt Jr concluded his moment of honesty.
Tony Stewart shares a moment he cheated in racing
Tony Stewart is a retired NASCAR champion. He remains a part of the sport via his co-ownership of Stewart-Haas Racing. But, his day job behind the wheel of a sprint car on the dirt tracks.
Stewart: “When I raced go-karts, the carburetor was a one inch carburetor. We ran restrictor plates in the class that I had to run in. It was a 600 hundred thousandths restrictor plate.”
“There was a spacer block between that and the actual motor. What my dad had done was had somebody make a 600 hundred thousandths hole in that plastic block. But, he put a tamper on it, like a cone.”
“One week he ran it on one side of the plate. The other week he ran it on the other side of the plate. He did it two weeks in a row then took it off and never ran it again.”
“But, I like telling on my dad because my dad’s 80 years old and it’s like role-reversal. I’m the parent and he’s the kid now.”
“That’s the job of all of us, in racing. That’s the history of racing. Taking the rules that the sanctioning body gives you and trying to read between the lines.”
“Any time there’s an opportunity for interpretation, you are always going to take that opportunity,” Stewart concluded.