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HENDRICK RESPONDS – ARE THEY SHOCKED? September 30, 2007

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, NASCAR, Teams.
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Just a few minutes ago Hendrick Motorsports’ executive Doug Duchardt addressed last nights failure of the Hendrick team’s Busch car to pass inspection after Kyle Busch won with it in the Yellow Transportation 300 Busch series race. Here is some of what he said and how he answered when I asked if he was shocked that the car did not pass.

Doug Duchardt – Vice President of Hendrick Motorsports:

“Obviously NASCAR had an issue with our Busch manifold from yesterday. We are still waiting to hear final word from them exactly what the situation is. When we left the track last night we knew they wanted to look at it further. We were not told that we had failed inspection when we left the track – we didn’t hear about that until after we left.

The situation with the manifold that they have an issue with is in the inside of the manifold and to try to describe this there are no rules on dimensions for the intake manifold for the Busch series. The exterior obviously it’s defined but on the inside it’s not as defined and what happens with this is we have to show NASCAR a manifold ahead of time and then they look at it and say ‘Yea that looks good,’ and then we go on down the road. And we cannot modify manifolds in the Busch Series as much as we do in the Cup series and that’s why we have to have NASCAR look at it before hand.

This occurred in the off season between 2003 and 2004 because this casting from General Motors hasn’t changed since then. The late Randy Dorton had that meeting with NASCAR along with other folks from our engine program and NASCAR inspectors that were there last night.

They gave us direction and since then they have been running that manifold. The physical piece that they took we know campaigned at least in Homestead in 04 and has run since then. We run this manifold on our mile and a half tracks – our intermediate type manifold.

NASCAR has seen this manifold when we won in 05 when Kasey got second in California and they tore down and then lastly most importantly is NASCAR took ten manifolds last week at Dover from different teams as they look at rules for next year. They had a dimensional sister to the manifold that they took an absolute twin that they had at the NASCAR tech center for two days and looked and we at no time had been told that there was an issue with that.

So from our standpoint we are trying to understand what’s changed. We haven’t worked on this piece obviously in a long time the casting hasn’t changed. What we’ve been told as far as the interpretation of the inside of the manifold has not changed in other words NASCAR hasn’t told us that you need to fix this or change the inside of the manifold so we just haven’t change it in three years.

So we raced yesterday and right now we have an issue and we’re trying to understand that.

So our hope was, our understanding was that we were going to be able to talk and work this through and quite frankly I am waiting to hear what our situation is with them (NASCAR) because they told us after we left that we had failed inspection.”

Claire B.: Were you shocked when you got the word late last night?

“Yea I was shocked. We feel like we are continuously doing Busch development or engine development and on our Busch side it’s just a piece we’ve never touched because we knew it was off limits. So it’s one that we’ve been running and from a manifold side we just knew we couldn’t go there. And so we felt like we were comfortable where we were at. We’ve heard about the new rules that are coming for next year. We weren’t doing any more work on the manifold side because we knew it’s going to be obsolete next year when they go to new Busch engine rules so yea, I’m surprised.”

CBL

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