NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer on Tuesday denied that he spun out intentionally to help his teammate gain a berth in the Chase for the Cup title playoff.
Appearing on ESPN, Bowyer was asked directly if the spinout at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Saturday night was on purpose.
"No," Bowyer replied. "Any time something happens on the race track it's unfortunate."
NASCAR heavily penalized Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Brian Vickers and their Michael Waltrip Racing team Monday for trying to manipulate the finish of the Richmond race to get Truex into the Chase.
The penalties resulted in Truex being dropped from the Chase and Ryan Newman being added to the 12-driver Chase field.
Newman was leading the Richmond race with seven laps remaining when Bowyer inexplicably spun out. NASCAR found there was no conclusive evidence that Bowyer did so on purpose, but many in NASCAR Nation believe otherwise.
Despite being penalized, Bowyer remains in the Chase and in contention to win his first Sprint Cup Series championship.
Bowyer, 34, said he had spoken with Newman and told ESPN that he "hated to see" the events that initially prevented Newman from making the playoff. "I'm happy that he's in the Chase," Bowyer said.
Bowyer also hinted that other drivers might find their own way to penalize Bowyer on the track at this Sunday's race at Chicagoland Speedway, the first event in the 10-race Chase.
"If somebody wants to retaliate, I'm a big boy," Bowyer said.
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times