JOLIET, Ill.–Naturally, team owner Rick Hendrick had reason to rejoice when Jeff Gordon was added to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Friday.
But Hendrick was particularly impressed with the way NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France handled the decision, which amounted to an executive order.
“I think NASCAR… I think Brian France did a great job,” Hendrick said Sunday at Chicagoland after the drivers’ meeting for the GEICO 400. “He stepped up, and he said, ‘I made the decision, and this it’s the way it’s going to be.’
“It sounded like Bill (France Jr.)–‘I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happened, and this is the way we’re going to race from here on.’ I applaud NASCAR for what they’ve done. I think everybody in the garage… if we could go back and run Richmond over, it would be a lot different.”
France included Gordon in the Chase based on evidence that other teams had colluded to change the finishing order in a way that elevated Joey Logano into the top 10 and knocked Gordon out of the 10-race playoff.
In the interest of fairness, and based on the totality of the circumstances, France added Gordon as a 13th driver on Friday.