Jack Roush said Thursday his Ford teams in Sprint Cup racing fell behind on the car of tomorrow last year because he expected a crackdown on teams that were using non-Goodyear tires to test in a manner Roush felt was outside of NASCAR policies.
“I thought that they (NASCAR) were serious,” Roush said.
“I thought that they were going to stop testing. They said they were going to control the testing and we were all going to test at the same place. I figured it was a matter of time until the guillotine fell on the people who were testing the cars.
“I wasn’t going to create a scenario where they said, ‘Everybody’s doing it.’ Everybody wasn’t doing it. We weren’t doing it. ...I thought it was going to be real bad for the people who were. I was wrong. I misread NASCAR.”
Roush said “an unnamed NASCAR official” told him forms had been prepared to be sent out with entry blanks for Cup races asking team owners to affirm they were not testing except for at NASCAR-sanctioned test sessions.
“They didn’t send that out and changed their minds,” Roush said on the final stop of the four-day NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Hendrick Motorsports-owned Chevrolets won the first five races with the new car and Fords had no finishes better than fifth and led only 78 total laps in those races. At that point, Roush and Davis said Ford began an aggressive testing program.
“I wound up going with the flow,” Roush said. “But if I had been at the front of that line I don’t think it would have worked out that way.”
NASCAR said it had no comment on Roush’s claim, but one source said a check with several officials inside the sanctioning body knew nothing of such forms.