CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Clint Bowyer is denying that he intentionally spun his car in an effort to keep Ryan Newman from winning at Richmond over the weekend.
Bowyer was previously scheduled to spend Tuesday at ESPN before NASCAR sanctioned Michael Waltrip Racing for manipulating the outcome of the race. In his first interview, he said he had apologized to Newman in a phone call for bringing out a caution while Newman was leading, but said it was racer protocol for costing Newman a win.
Asked specifically if the apology was an admission of guilt, Bowyer said: "Let's not dig too much into this." The topic was covered again in a second appearance, and Bowyer denied deliberately spinning.
NASCAR late Monday replaced Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase championship field with Newman and fined MWR $300,000.Truex, Bowyer and Brian Vickers were docked 50 points apiece, though Bowyer's deduction does not affect his position in the Chase, which begins Sunday at Chicago.
Bowyer also revealed he had poison oak all over his arm from cutting a tree down last week when asked about his team talking in code during the race. His crew chief had inquired about his arm right before he spun, at one point saying, "I bet it's hot in there. Itch it."