There were many statements released over the course of last night and this morning regarding NASCAR’s sanctions for Michael Waltrip Racing. The one I was most curious about, however, was Ty Norris, the GM and executive VP of MWR, who was spotting for Brian Vickers (55 car) Saturday night. About 11:00 last night, he posted this statement, published in series of tweets:
“In the final laps, I made a call to pit the 55 car to benefit a teammate. It was a split second decision made in the middle of a chaotic finish bad on the circumstances. There was no time to think just act. Though it was to benefit MWR it is now clear it was to the detriment of the sport I love and have called home for the past 24 years. I apologize to all who were affected by that decision in the greatest race for the Chase in its 10 year history. I have dedicated my life to this industry and value its integrity and understand the decision.”
Norris was suspended indefinitely for directing the 55 car of Brian Vickers to pit, allowing Joey Logano to clinch a Chase berth for being in the top 10, and MWR driver Martin Truex Jr. to clinch the second wild-card berth into the Chase.
Norris seems sorry for what he did, so I won’t hold this against him any longer. He did wrong, but we all make mistakes, and the important thing is that he admits his guilt and remorse. His point about the actions being a split second decision is correct; contrary to what some have said, there is no way these events were part of a master plan or large conspiracy by MWR. Therefore, as far as Norris is concerned, I am over this issue. As far as NASCAR is concerned, that may take until the next time Jeff Gordon qualifies for the Chase.