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"I would never strike anybody who didn't strike me," Force said. "But when I'm in the heat of battle and somebody comes in from the blindside, even if it's the Carolina State Police, please tell me it's you. I don't know who's grabbing me. I'm just shoving away to protect myself."
As far as the race was concerned, Force knows there are factions out there who believe he didn't throw his matchup with Hight on purpose.
And then there are those who believe he did.
"Force cheats. He manipulates the outcome of these races," Cruz Pedregon told ESPN after the race.
Force said his car was shaking off the starting line, pushing him from his line and leading to an easy win by Hight.
When asked if everything was above board, Force said: "You can't help it if you smoke your tires. It's what people want to believe ... I'm never going to say I did, I'm never going to say I didn't. I'm never going to lie to anybody. I'll say this: I pedaled the heck out of that car."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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