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Auto Racing

Montoya not upset by Griese 'taco' comment

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 23, 2013 at 04:51 PM
TALLADEGA, Ala. -

Juan Pablo Montoya was never upset by the "taco" remark that got ESPN announcer Bob Griese suspended.

The network this week suspended Griese from broadcasting a college football game on Saturday for the remark he made last week about Montoya. During a spot for NASCAR, the top five drivers in the standings were shown and Griese was asked where Montoya was.

Griese replied Montoya was "out having a taco."

"At the end of the day, it's not my responsibility, it is not our sport, it is completely out of my hands," Montoya said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. "I never paid attention to the comment, and as I said, I didn't really care. If they wanted to suspend him for what he did, it's their problem, not NASCAR or myself.

"I was good with (the remark.)"

Montoya has poked fun at the comment several times over the past week, including Friday, when he said he almost brought trays of tacos for reporters during his weekly news conference.

McGrew to remain with Earnhardt

Lance McGrew had the interim tag removed from his crew chief title Friday when Hendrick Motorsports said he'll stay with Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season.

McGrew replaced Tony Eury Jr. in late May in an effort to save Earnhardt's sinking season. Team owner Rick Hendrick used the rest of the year to evaluate the No. 88 team and decided McGrew is the best fit for the long-term direction of NASCAR's most popular driver.

"I have total faith in Lance and what he's capable of accomplishing with Dale Jr.," Hendrick said. "There was a lot of pressure with how he came into this deal, and the way he's handled it has been extremely impressive. Lance is confident in himself and in his decisions, and all the outside distractions aren't going to faze him.

"He's a strong-willed guy who will keep his eye on the ball and not settle."

Addington confused after his firing

Steve Addington says he doesn't know why he was fired as crew chief for Kyle Busch.

Joe Gibbs Racing officials told Addington earlier this week that Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway will be his last with Busch.

Addington says he is confused by the decision. He and Busch won 12 races together since their pairing at the start of last season.

Although they missed a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Busch has four wins this season. The firing also came after consecutive top-10 finishes.

Allmendinger forced to take breath test

A.J. Allmendinger was required to take a breath test before Friday's practice at Talladega Superspeedway following his arrest on a drunken driving charge.

Allmendinger was arrested by Mooresville (N.C.) police early Thursday morning. He was placed on probation by NASCAR through the end of the season and said he had no problem when series officials asked him to take the test.

"I know what I've done," Allmendinger said. "I respect the punishment and everything that I have to do to gain the trust back of NASCAR and everybody that's out there racing with me. It's not the best feeling in the world, but at the same point I respect that I have to go do it."

Mooresville police said Allmendinger, who drives the No. 44 Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports, failed a field sobriety test after being pulled over shortly after leaving a bar.

Allmendinger registered 0.08 on the breath test, the police report said.

Waltrip parked

NASCAR pulled Michael Waltrip off the track for aggressive driving at Talladega Superspeedway.

Waltrip was warned to give Jimmie Johnson some space during Friday's final practice session as he bump-drafted behind Johnson's car. When Waltrip didn't let up, he was black-flagged for the final 30 minutes of practice.

NASCAR is keeping a close eye on bump-drafting this weekend, in large part because of the fallout over the harrowing accident on the final lap of April's race at Talladega. Carl Edwards' car was hit by winner Brad Keselowski, and the contact sent Edwards' car airborne into the fence.

The Associated Press

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