Report: Gibbs Racing attempted to alter chassis dyno test, will face sanctions

Updated: August 17, 2008, 1:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BROOKLYN, Mich. --- Two Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series cars -- the Nos. 18 and 20 -- could have sanctions handed down against them, NASCAR officials told the Charlotte Observer late Saturday.

The JGR teams -- which have dominated the series for much of the season -- had attempted to alter the outcome of a chassis dyno test. The No. 18 and No. 20 Toyotas have combined for 13 wins in 25 races.

NASCAR did tests after Saturday's Nationwide race at Michigan International Speedway on the chassis dynamometer, which measures rear-wheel horsepower, of several cars. Officials have administered this test several times during the season.

NASCAR officials found magnets on the accelerator pedals of the two Gibbs Toyotas, the Observer reported. Several sources said the magnets might keep the pedals from being fully depressed, which would limit the engines' output and distort data.

"This was an attempt to interfere with NASCAR's post-race inspection process, and we are taking it very seriously," Jim Hunter, vice president of corporate communications for the sanctioning body, told the Observer.

Hunter said both teams faced penalties, which would be announced early next week.

JGR team spokesperson Mike Arning said his team believed it was adhering to NASCAR rules with the cars entered in Saturday's race.

NASCAR announced rule changes for the Toyota engines used in the Nationwide Series last month. The guidelines were intended to cut 15 horsepower.