Suspended Waltrip Crew Chief Fired By Team
Friday, April 27th 2007, 7:22 pm
News On 6
TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) _ David Hyder, one of two Michael Waltrip Racing employees suspended by NASCAR in a cheating scandal at Daytona in February, parted ways with the team on Friday.
``As of this morning, Michael Waltrip Racing and David Hyder have ended their employment relationship,'' Waltrip said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Hyder and team director Bobby Kennedy were both put on indefinite suspension and Hyder was fined $100,000 by NASCAR after an illegal substance was found in the intake manifold of Waltrip's No. 55 Toyota during an inspection prior to the season-opening Daytona 500.
Kennedy remains on the team payroll but is still suspended.
Both NASCAR and the team have investigated the incident, but no results of those investigation have been made public.
There were several other teams caught cheating at Daytona, but the others were for technical violations that resulted only in fines and loss of points.
Waltrip, who was docked a record 100 points, again denied any complicity in the cheating at Daytona.
``I would never be a party to that,'' he said. ``The little tricks some of the cars got caught with was one thing. Whatever we did, the way that went down, that shouldn't have happened.''
Asked how much he now knows about the illegal substance and how it was applied, Waltrip said, ``Someone said the other day they believe the amount of people that could have done that would fit in the back seat of a car.
``So, why haven't we heard? We've worked with NASCAR. We've done our own investigation and no one has taken responsibility for it and we can't find a container of whatever that stuff was or is. So, we've been frustrated by it.''
Waltrip said he met with NASCAR two weeks ago in Texas to discuss the investigation and to see if the team could start the process for getting Hyder and Kennedy off of suspension.
``I know more about what (the substance) is or what it does than I did before Texas,'' he said. ``I didn't have a clue before that.''
Asked what the substance was, Waltrip replied: ``I don't know. It's supposed to make the motor run better. But it didn't.''
Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, managed to qualify for the 500 with a backup car. But the owner of the first-year team has not qualified for a race since.