NASCAR Notes: RCR reacts to "fishy" Menard spin - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

NASCAR Notes: RCR reacts to "fishy" Menard spin

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Childress says Menard not ordered to call caution
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -
Richard Childress is denying his team ordered Paul Menard to cause a caution at Richmond in an effort to help teammate Kevin Harvick win the race.

Menard's spin with 16 laps left last week came when Jeff Gordon was winning the race. The drivers pitted under caution, Harvick was first off pit road and held off Gordon to win his fourth win of the season.

Gordon has called the timing of the caution "a little fishy," and NASCAR president Mike Helton says officials are investigating.

Childress issued a statement Friday morning at ChicagoLand Speedway, saying there were no team orders and Menard would not participate in something so deliberate.

Johnson starts bid for 6th title under the radar
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -
There's not a lot of buzz surrounding Jimmie Johnson as he heads into the first race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

He's ranked sixth going into Sunday's playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway, and has just one victory this season.

But it would be foolish to count the five-time defending champion out of the hunt.

His rivals know Johnson can turn it up a notch during this 10-race Chase, and very little can rattle him.

Johnson says the Chase is a clean slate and nothing that's happened prior to Sunday counts in deciding the champion.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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