NASCAR announced Thursday that it has reinstated Ty Norris, who is the Executive Vice President at Michael Waltrip Racing.
Norris had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR last Sept. 9 as part of the penalties assessed to MWR following the sanctioning bodys review of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sept. 7 at Richmond International Raceway.
“I appreciate NASCARs action today and respect their position,” Norris said in a statement. I am focused forward and dedicated to the success of Michael Waltrip Racing and the continued growth of a sport that has been my home for the past 24 years.”
A series of events played out at Richmond that resulted in catching a lot of people’s attention of how Michael Waltrip Racing tried to manipulate the Chase. For starters, Clint Bowyer spun with just under 20 laps to go without contact on the radio. Well it may look harmless, radio traffic would say to have proven otherwise.
Audio replayed by ESPN after the race had spotter Brett Griffin telling Bowyer the circumstances of the race, followed by two odd comments from crew chief Brian Pattie:
“Is your arm starting to hurt?” Pattie said on the radio. “I bet it’s getting hot in there. Itch it.” Bowyer then spun out.
In response to that, Pattie said, “My man has poison oak all over his arm. You ask him about how his arms feeling – all of a sudden it’s a controversy.”
Then in the closing laps, fellow Michael Waltrip Racing driver Brian Vickers made a very interesting timed pit stop after a “interesting” discussion with his spotter and MWR competition director Ty Norris.
On Lap 396 Vickers is told he’s got to pit and he replies, “I’ve got to WHAT?”
“We’re probably going to pit here on green.”
“Are you talking to me?”
“Yeah, we’re going to pit.”
“”What? I’ve got to pit?”
“I don’t understand. Pit right now?”
“You’ve got to pit this time. We need that 1 point.”
“10-4. Do I got a tire going down?”
“Yeah. Come down pit road right now, get a good look at it.”
(After he pits) “Did you find anything?”
“I’ll see you after the race, Brian, I owe you a kiss.”
The pair of circumstances were played out to therefore qualify the third MWR driver, Martin Truex Jr., into the Chase. In doing so, they also let Joey Logano in, well knocking out Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon.
After checking into the situation, NASCAR slapped them with some huge penalties, including points penalties, a $300,000 fine and suspending Ty Norris.
NASCAR added in their statement today that Norris remains on indefinite NASCAR probation.