MARTINSVILLE, Va. --- Michael Waltrip said Saturday his racing organization was responsible for the missing suspension part at Roush Fenway Racing, calling the incident an innocent mistake.
Waltrip said his team had a sway bar -- a rod that limits how the car leans when it's in the corners -- that was made specifically for Roush, but nobody from his three teams stole it.
"We wound up with a sway bar there somehow," Waltrip said before the final practice session for today's Goody's Cool Orange 500 at the Martinsville Speedway. "I promise you no one went to their tool box and swiped it. This is not intellectual espionage."
Roush said Friday somebody on one of Waltrip's teams grabbed the part during September's race at Dover. A vendor in North Carolina alerted Roush that Waltrip tried to order the same part during the off-season.
Waltrip said his group returned the part. Roush said he's still considering legal action against Waltrip.
TEMPER, TEMPER: One thing's for sure: Some drivers will be angry when they leave the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway.
Short track racing means a lot of beating and banging, and a driver's ability to keep his cool has a lot to do with his performance during the race.
A temper can be good for business. But NASCAR seems to be less tolerant of short ones after the race. Jeff Burton said he wants NASCAR to loosen its control across the board.
"We've heard talk in the past about having a cooling off period before post-race interviews and I'm a huge (opponent) of that," Burton said. "I think that's a terrible idea. I think that the emotions of our sport are what make this sport work. If drivers, crew members can't show their emotions, then why watch?"
Although NASCAR has penalties for rough driving, it has been tougher on drivers who use profanity or make threatening remarks after a race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fined $10,000 and docked 100 points for using profanity while celebrating a win at Talladega.
LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP: Now that Kyle Busch is first in the Sprint Cup Series point standings, he's hearing a few more cheers during introductions. But he's also grown accustomed to still hearing the boos.
"People either love me or hate me," he said. "So love me or hate me, I don't care. My personality is what it is."