NASCAR brass asks for clean race
NASCAR gathered the three championship contending owners on Sunday morning to try to set a tone for the final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup:
Let the race play out as naturally as possible.
“Just do what you’re supposed to do, just not wreck anybody intentionally” is the message Rick Hendrick said he got from NASCAR chaiman Brian France and president Mike Helton at Homestead-Miami Speedway before the drivers' meeting.
“I guess they felt like they needed to do it,” said Hendrick, whose Hendrick Motorsports is the defending champion and has Jimmie Johnson in the No. 2 spot heading into Sunday’s race. “It was all good. I enjoyed seeing (fellow owners) Joe (Gibbs) and Richard (Childress).
“Everybody is going to race hard today. You got guys that want to win. You got guys that always race hard. You see something intentional, I don’t see that happening because no one wants to win it that way. You always have somebody that gets frustrated and gets into each other but that’s just racing.”
With NASCAR staging the closest contest in the Chase for the Sprint Cup -- 15 points separate Gibbs’ Denny Hamlin and Johnson, with Childress’ Kevin Harvick trailing the leader by 46 -- the sanctioning body does not want to have their “boys have at it” philosophy elevate to the next level.
“None of us want to see something happen that will alter the outcome,” Childress said.