NASCAR is investigating the possibility of collusion between the Penske and Front Row teams in the Richmond Sprint Cup race, but says it currently has no firm evidence.
In the wake of the race-manipulation scandal involving Michael Waltrip Racing, on Wednesday the Associated Press published transcripts of radio communication between Joey Logano’s Penske team and the Front Row squad of David Gilliland.
Logano passed Gilliland in the closing stages to finish 22nd in the race, a result that earned him the first Chase spot of his career.
A NASCAR statement said that the matter was being investigated but was not so far seen as an issue.
“NASCAR is aware of reports about the 22 [Logano] and 38 [Gilliland] radio communications at Richmond International Raceway and is looking into it, but has yet to see anything in full context that requires any action,” it said.
In the event, Logano’s Chase place was secure regardless of whether he passed Gilliland.
Waltrip driver Martin Truex Jr. lost his Chase spot to Ryan Newman when NASCAR heavily penalized the MWR team for attempting to manipulate the race results to ensure Truex beat rivals to the final Chase wild card entry.
Radio instructions for unnecessary pit stops by Truex’s teammates Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers were central to the penalty. A late spin by Bowyer also aroused suspicion, but NASCAR could find no proof it was deliberate.