The Frontstretch: Roush Continues Grudge Match With Toyota ... But That's All It Is by Mike Neff -- Thursday March 27, 2008

Go to site navigation Go to article

Editor’s Note: Have you heard of our FREE Frontstretch Newsletter, delivering more NASCAR news, commentary, trivia, and more right to your inbox every morning? If not, well, it’s time to sell you on it. Today, we’re showcasing a special column that newsletter columnist and FS Senior Writer Mike Neff wrote for Wednesday’s edition. If you haven’t seen the newsletter and you like what you read, well, it’s time to become a subscriber by clicking here to sign up! One simple click, and you’ll be checking out Mike’s work in your email inbox every Wednesday.

If you haven’t already heard by now, word came out in the 10th anniversary issue of ESPN the Magazine this week that Jack Roush had a proprietary component disappear from his shop; he retrieved it from an undisclosed Toyota team at the Atlanta race this March. Roush said that he is considering legal action, or even getting NASCAR involved following the incident. That’s ironic, seeing as in the face of those statements Roush chose to go to the press before approaching the legal process or NASCAR first. To the naked eye, that would seem more like sour grapes than a true legal issue; but only time will tell.

Jack Roush’s smile turns to a frown when he’s left to discussing Toyota’s presence in the sport these days.

But this is not the first blow this season between these warring factions on NASCAR’s biggest stage. After Carl Edwards was found to have a “loose” lid on his oil tank compartment, Lee White, the general manager for Toyota Racing Development, was quite vocal in his belief that Roush Fenway Racing intentionally caused the lid to come off, and swore that there was a proven aerodynamic advantage which resulted from the loosened lid. Steadfast in his beliefs, White even maintained that Toyota’s testing proved that, with the oil tank cover removed, there was a gain of nearly 170 pounds of downforce on the car. Roush quickly fired back at White, questioning his ethics about knowing that such a gain would occur based on testing results when such a condition would obviously have been illegal and, therefore, indirectly accused Toyota of testing ways to cheat the rules.

But that was not the end of the barbs that flew around after the Vegas race. Roush also insinuated that when Michael Waltrip’s team was busted with jet fuel in their fuel system (the contaminant was never disclosed by NASCAR) they were not the only Toyota team that had additives injected, and that as such, they were trying to do far more than just work in the gray area last year.

This pissing contest has very long and deep roots between Roush and White. White worked for Roush before he ever decided to set up a stock car operation in North Carolina. However, Roush maintains that White was not brought along when the organization was established in North Carolina because he had a history of cheating on the road racing powerhouses that Roush fielded before he ever entered stock car racing. And cheating the system, of course, is what Roush felt Toyota would be doing all along; when they were announced as an entrant coming into stock car racing, Roush swore that the automotive behemoth was going to ruin the sport by increasing the spending on all aspects of their teams. He has since accused them of increasing salaries and plundering existing organizations by utilizing their deep pockets to drive up the cost of competition.

With those bitter feelings already well established, it seems this latest accusation is just another volley in an ongoing battle of barbs. Roush is a shrewd businessman, and knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. If Roush felt like he really had a valid case that would result in some kind of legal victory, he would not have said a word until the papers had already been filed. So far, this looks like just another attempt at besmirching the young reputation of Toyota in stock car racing; nothing more, nothing less.

But have we seen the end of these tit for tat continuous exchanges of attacks by these organizations? Most likely not. When you are dealing with people who have huge egos and who don’t take kindly to losing, they will never back down. So, for now, enjoy the shenanigans and wait for the next salvo to be fired. Eventually, someone is going to be told to piss up a rope.

But that’s about it.

NASCAR NEWS, RIGHT TO YOUR INBOXAND IT’S FREE.
The Frontstretch Newsletter, back in 2014 gives you more of the daily news, commentary, and racing features from your favorite writers you know and love. Don’t waste another minute – click here to sign up now. We’re here to make sure you stay informed … so make sure you jump on for the ride!

Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
Mirror Driving: Winning Vs. Points, Needing a Boost, and The Lady’s Last Dance?
Nuts for Nationwide: The Curious Case of Elliott Sadler
Happiness Is…Arrogance, Less, Next, and the Outdoors
Frontstretch Foto Funnies: It’s Not Gonna Fit…
FREE NEWSLETTER! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

 

©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

sparxmoore
03/27/2008 08:45 AM
permalink

NOT a roush fan …but ask yourself who usually tosses the first punch in these sort of battles ,the guilty party ? MR white threw out the first shot at the roush organization BECAUSE he was STILL jilted at being left behind ..finally made it too a big comparable position and had his chance to undermine roush thru the whole edwards FIASCO !! ask yourself where were his comments when johnson and knaus were busted cheating twice after michaels fuel additive penalty ? it didnt pay to screw with hendricks as he didnt fire him and leave him without a notable position . this all comes back to REVENGE for being left behind !

 

Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

Special Winter Sprint Car Series set for January debut at Cocopah Speedway
Beyond the Cockpit with Ben Rhodes
Kroger 250 postponed until Sunday afternoon
Denny Hamlin out of the car for the race at Auto Club Speedway
Nationwide Breakdown – Drive to Stop Diabetes 300

Want to find out more about Mike Neff? Maybe see all the articles he's written here at the Frontstetch? Check out his article archive and bio page then!