With the current controversy of some Sprint Cup teams possibly manipulating tires used in races, Roger Penske has made it clear to his organization that such mischief will not be tolerated.
“I’ve told our guys ‘Hey, let’s stay out of this,’” Penske told The Associated Press Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla., site of Sunday’s IndyCar season-opening race. “I can tell you this: we are not making any adjustments to our tires for that type of activity.”
Penske acknowledged he’s heard reports of other teams drilling small holes in tires to let air slowly escape during the course of a run, enhancing grip.
“Obviously with softer tires, you are going to have better grip and better performance,” Penske said.
The tires of Penske Racing driver Joey Logano were confiscated after the race at Phoenix two weeks ago, but NASCAR said Logano’s tires passed further inspection.
Tires from four teams (Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Paul Menard and Kurt Busch) were confiscated after last Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway, but results from further examination have not been revealed.
“I can’t ever point my finger at anyone else,” Penske told the AP. “At the end of the day, guys go fast for different reasons, and someone has an idea that that’s going on.
“I’ve seen no evidence at this point, at least it hasn’t been shown to me, to say this is happening. The only finger I’m pointing is at my own guys to make sure we’re not involved in anything like that.”
If any team or teams is found to have violated the rules, they would be subject to harsh penalties.
“You talk about fuel, you talk about engine (being) oversized, you talk about fooling around with the tires — I would assume that’s pretty much they kick you out (of NASCAR),” Penske told the AP. “We all want to be competitive and we are all working on the edge all the time, but I think there are a few areas which are definitely over the line.”