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Jeff Gordon: Repercussions from NASCAR scandal only beginning

- dscott@charlotteobserver.com
Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013

NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon warned Wednesday that the repercussions of Michael Waltrip Racing’s manipulation of last weekend’s race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway are only beginning.

“It’s way beyond you and me, way beyond the sport and the fans,” said Gordon. “It reaches out much further than that. It has affected far more people than we can understand.

“It’s going to happen again. So it has to be addressed in a big way.”

Gordon was in position to make the Chase during the closing laps by finishing amongthe top 10 in points. But with MWR’s cars losing positions by pitting and spinning, Joey Logano ended up claiming a guaranteed spot, leaving Gordon out.

That all happened after Clint Bowyer’s spin that played such a huge part in Martin Truex Jr. finishing high enough to make the Chase – a spot nullified Monday by NASCAR when it removed Truex from the Chase by docking him 50 points.

“I’ll admit, we all are figuring out ways to make the Chase,” said Gordon, a four-time series champion. “When the time comes, we want to see what we can do to help our teammate win the championship.

“The difference is there are lines that are drawn, and this crossed over the line.”

Gordon said NASCAR’s reputation is on the line.

“It’s the integrity of the sport,” he said. “What level do you go to win? I’ve been asked if it’s OK to knock a guy out of the way to win a race to get into the Chase. There are certain morals that are still involved with what you’re comfortable and not comfortable doing.”

Gordon, who was at Kannapolis’ CMC-Northeast Stadium for a charity kickball game benefiting children’s cancer research, said he still is trying to work through Saturday night’s events mentally and emotionally.

“The anger and disappointment were unlike anything I’ve ever felt before,” he said. “When we didn’t (finish high enough), I thought I’d let the team down. But when you find out later how they manipulated it, that was anger at a whole other level. It’s hard to describe.

“But it brings about (another) level of motivation for us to go and race this final 10 weeks.”

Gordon walked off to play kickball with three final words:

“To be continued.”

Scott: 704-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14

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