Vickers also blasted critics who viewed MWR as mere cheaters who tried to game the outcome of Saturday's race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway to get teammate
"They are not cheaters," Vickers wrote of MWR in a column in
NASCAR hit MWR with the penalties Monday, docking Vickers, Truex and
In doling out the penalties, NASCAR President Mike Helton specifically pointed to a moment late in the race when MWR executive Ty Norris, who also was Vickers' spotter that night, ordered a confused Vickers to pit to help Truex's position.
NASCAR suspended Norris indefinitely and fined the team a record $300,000.
Vickers, who drives the No. 55 Toyota, reiterated MWR's stance that Norris "had a split-second decision to make that could help this team" and that "he didn't have some grand strategy to manipulate the race."
Vickers also maintained that "there is currently no rule that states you can't help a teammate or give a teammate your position if you choose."
"I didn't make that call to pit last Saturday nor did I even understand why we did it at the time," he continued. "But if my teammate(s) needed me again and it was of no consequence to me, my team or our partners, I would make the same decision time and time again."
Vickers also asserted that teammates help each other routinely on the track. "You think that if
The 10-race Chase starts Sunday with the