Gibbs Racing Caught Cheating, Faces Sanctions

Monday, August 18, 2008

The two Joe Gibbs Racing cars that have dominated the Nationwide Series this season likely will face stiff NASCAR sanctions after team members were caught deliberately trying to mask the horsepower in their powerful engines.

NASCAR inspectors found magnets under the gas pedals of the No. 18 and No. 20 Toyotas when the cars were sent to the chassis dyno following Saturday's race at Michigan International Speedway. Tony Stewart finished third in the No. 20 in his final Nationwide race for JGR, and Joey Logano was seventh in the No. 18.

The two cars have combined to win 14 of Toyota's 15 victories in 25 Nationwide races this season. To temper the domination, NASCAR last month ordered all Toyota teams to cut about 15 horsepower in their motors.

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the magnets were a quarter-inch thick and their placement was an attempt to hide how much horsepower the Gibbs motors still have even after the rule change.

"The intention was to manipulate the numbers that we get when we get our information and data off the dyno," Pemberton said.

Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said he and his father, owner Joe Gibbs, had no prior knowledge of their crew members intent and apologized to NASCAR and Toyota. "That was a really poor, foolish decision on the part of our key guys," J.D. Gibbs said. "A couple guys chose to make a decision there that really impacts all of us."

· BASEBALL: Jesus Sauceda, the 13-year-old ace pitcher for Matamoros, Mexico, pitched the fifth perfect game in Little League World Series history and the first in 29 years when he struck out all 12 batters in a 12-0 win yesterday over Emilia, Italy, in South Williamsport, Pa.

In other early action, Trey Quinn tossed a no-hitter for Lake Charles, La., in a 9-0 shutout of Jeffersonville, Ind.; Tokyo defeated White Rock, British Columbia, 9-3; Maracaibo, Venezuela, shut out Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 12-0; Waipahu, Hawaii, beat Tampa, 10-2.

The last perfect game at the World Series was thrown by Taiwan's Chen Chao-An in 1979.

· BASKETBALL: The Philadelphia 76ers re-signed Andre Iguodala yesterday, giving the forward a six-year contract worth a reported $80 million. Iguodala averaged 19.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.1 steals in 82 games last season.

· TENNIS: When the WTA Tour rankings come out officially today, Ana Ivanovic will be back on top -- a place she will hold for at least two weeks. The 20-year old Serb, who held the No. 1 ranking for nine weeks from June 9 to Aug. 11, moved past compatriot Jelena Jankovic.

· OBITUARY: James Busch Orthwein, the former New England Patriots owner who played a role in the Rams' move to St. Louis, died Friday after a long battle with cancer. He was 84. Orthwein bought the Patriots in 1992 and sold them to Robert Kraft two years later.

-- From News Services

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