Last year, NASCAR put a stop to teams swerving wildly on cooldown laps after qualifying and races. The maneuvers were an attempt by drivers to get the rear of their cars properly aligned before inspection.
NASCAR began penalizing teams practice time for swerving following the fall Charlotte race.
Swerving is back in the spotlight after comments Dale Earnhardt Jr. made over his radio and then to the media after Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. Tuesday night on NASCAR America, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Burton discussed the topic in the video above.
After telling reporters that the Penske cars had been the “class of the field,” Earnhardt said “we need to figure out what they are doing and see if we can’t make it better.”
This isn’t the first time Keselowski has been a part of the discussion regarding body manipulation. In 2012, it was Keselowski radioing his team during the Brickyard 400 about his amazement at how much skew was visible in the Hendrick Motorsports’ cars.
What does all this talk about swerving mean?
“What (Earnhardt) was saying was that he was seeing them downshifting really hard, when you downshift, that would move the rear end and try to get it back into place,” analyst Jeff Burton said on NASCAR America. “That doesn’t mean, per say, that they were cheating. They could be doing it for insurance. They may be right on that edge of where they could be in the rule and they’re afraid as things move around in the race, they could be illegal after the race. …
“I think it was Junior’s way to vent a little bit to his team, ‘Hey, those guys are doing something maybe we need to be doing. Then saying it publicly, that was probably a shot across the bow, saying this is something NASCAR should look at.”
NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell was asked about Earnhardt’s comments Tuesday by NBC Sports.
“We are constantly looking at what goes on,” O’Donnell said. “I think our inspection process has been the same in terms of this year, and we’ve had to write some penalties, so we’re staying on the teams and know that rear skew is an area that we want to continue to monitor.”
Watch the video above for the rest of the discussion and to see Keselowski’s comments about the Hendrick cars after a 2012 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kasey Kahne‘s reaction to them.