Landon Cassill: I Love Dale Jr., But Richmond Spin Was Not Intentional

Lost in all the talk about Paul Menard's questionable spin is another spin Saturday night at Richmond that had some people talking.

Phoenix Racing's Landon Cassill spun out on lap 163 of the Richmond race, and the ensuing caution allowed Dale Earnhardt Jr. – who drives for the Hendrick Motorsports team that supplies Phoenix Racing with engines – to get back on the lead lap.

Later, Cassill raced hard with eventual winner Kevin Harvick – which Harvick inferred was due to Phoenix Racing's affiliation with Hendrick Motorsports.

"Does Jeff Gordon ever catch me if the 51 car (Cassill) – which is a Hendrick car and has a lot of Hendrick support – doesn't sit there and block and ride and spin out twice during the race?" Harvick said Friday.

Cassill, told of Harvick's comments, looked incredulous and laughed.

"First of all, the answer is, 'No,'" Cassill said. "No, I did not spin out to get Dale Jr. back on the lead lap. I spun out because my car was loose and I was driving as hard as I could.

"I love Dale Jr., but I did not spin out to help him."

Harvick wasn't the only person in the Richard Childress Racing organization to raise suspicions about Cassill.

RCR's vice president of competition, Mike Dillon, told Landmark Newspapers' Dustin Long: "How about the 51 spinning out for the 88?"

"I don't know what these guys are trying to accomplish, with Harvick dragging me into this," Cassill said, shaking his head. "I drive for James Finch, not Hendrick Motorsports. We've got 15 guys in our shop in Spartanburg. Hendrick supplies us engines and we buy a lot of stuff from them, but I think it's just funny. There's no conspiracy."

Cassill said he's focused on the last 10 races of the season with his team and wondered why so many Chase drivers can't seem to do the same.

"I think the person that's going to win this Chase is going to be the person who can focus on their own deal," he said. "I don't know if it's the pressure that gets to them or what, but at this time of year they all start pointing fingers at everything but themselves. It really derails their Chase efforts.

"I'm excited to see how the Chase goes – because I'm as big a race fan as anybody – as far as who is a contender and who stays focused on their own race team."

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