Monday, December 9, 2013
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"We're probably going to pit here on green," Norris says.
"Are you talking to me?" a surprised Vickers asks.
Vickers continued to question the call, at one point asking, "I don't understand, pit right now?"
"You've got to pit this time. We need that 1 point," Norris replies.
"10-4. Do I got a tire going down?" Vickers asked.
Vickers then pitted as the field went green. When he asked after if his crew found anything with the tire, Norris replied, "I'll see you after the race, Brian, I owe you a kiss."
Bowyer's radio communication was not as verbose, but he had already pitted twice after his spin, once to change the tire and once for Pattie to double-check for any damage. The team then called him down pit road a third time with no explanation just as the field went green.
It's not uncommon in NASCAR for teammates to help each other with track position, so on its face, the calls for the two MWR drivers to pit aren't that egregious. But added with Bowyer's spin, fans were crying foul over MWR's actions, especially since it cost both Gordon and Newman spots in the 10-race Chase that begins Sunday at Chicago.
Waltrip, calling the Truck race Sunday at Iowa for Fox Sports 1, declined to comment to AP.
Gordon posted on Twitter that he felt bad for both himself and Newman.
"Was feeling pretty bad about missing the (hash)Chase but after seeing all the details coming out now I feel even worse for (at)RyanNewman39," he tweeted on Sunday.
Newman downplayed the significance of Bowyer's spin on Saturday night because he said he still had a chance to win the race if his pit crew had delivered after the caution.
"They are teammates. I don't know if (Bowyer) looked at the scoring pylon, knew I was leading, it doesn't matter," Newman said. "If that was the case, I'll find out one way or the other. At the same time, we still had the opportunity to make our own destiny and win it on pit road, and we didn't."