The Points Penalties for the 2009 season
#1-Martin Truex Jr. and team owner 50 pts [Texas 11-7-2009]
#18-Kyle Busch and team owner 25 points [New Hampshire 9-20-2009]
#1-Martin Truex Jr. and team owner 25 pts [Chicago 7-11-2009]
#7-Robby Gordon and team owner 50 pts [Charlotte 5-25-2009]
#46-Carl Long and team owner 200 pts [Sprint Showdown, LMS 5-16-2009]
For records, some rules and more, see my Main Penalties News page
#1 Chevy deemed too low UPDATE: The #1 Bass Pro Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. failed a post-race inspection when NASCAR officials found the height of the car was too low. The violation was discovered because the #1 Chevy was the random car selected for inspection after the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Truex finished 14th. Any penalties for the team will be announced on Tuesday, NASCAR officials confirmed. NASCAR also is taking three cars back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. -- the #2 Dodge of race winner Kurt Busch, the #24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon, who finished 13th, and the #5 Chevy of Mark Martin, who finished fourth. NASCAR also will take three engines to the R&D Center -- the #2 Dodge, the #11 Toyota motor of driver Denny Hamlin, who finished second, and Gordon's. The winning car and the engines from the top two finishers always are inspected in the R&D Center.(ESPN)(11-9-2009)
Penalties Issued For Car #1 Team: NASCAR announced penalties for the car No. 1 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a violation that occurred during post-race inspection last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. The team was penalized for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (front of the car did not meet the required height specification; too low in post-race inspection). Crew chief Kevin Manion was fined $50,000 and remains on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Car owner Teresa Earnhardt and driver Martin Truex Jr., were penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner and 50 championship driver points, respectively.(NASCAR)(11-10-2009)
#18 car too low in post race inspection: UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch, who missed making the Chase by just eight points, finished 5th in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But the left front of the #18 M&M's Toyota was too low in post-race inspection, and he could be penalized by NASCAR this week, usually announced on Tuesday afternoons.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-20-2009)
UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of a rule infraction found last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The #18 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8 1B (the height of the car at the left front fender did not meet the required specification; too low in post-race inspection) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Kyle Busch and car owner Joe Gibbs have been penalized 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR PR)(9-22-2009)
Three Crew Members Suspended: Mike Hennessy, a crew member for the #199 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Gary St. Amant, a crew member for the #199 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Richard Henninger, a crew member for the #6 team [Roush Fenway Racing] in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. All three were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. Hennessy’s violation came on Aug. 27, while Henninger’s and St. Amant’s both came on Aug. 28.(NASCAR Public Relations)(9-1-2009)
- Truex's car too high at Chicago UPDATE Penalties announced: The #1 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. did not pass a post-race inspection when NASCAR officials discovered the right rear quarter panel was too high on the car. Truex finished 16th in the LifeLock 400 race at Chicagoland Speedway. The car will be taken back to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluations. NASCAR officials will determine if the height problem is a violation that requires a penalty. Any announcement of the process will come later this week, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. Similar height situations have resulted in championship point reductions and fines in the past.(ESPN.com)(7-12-2009)
UPDATE: NASCAR announced that Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #1 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, crew chief Kevin Manion and car owner Teresa Earnhardt have been penalized for rule violations during last weekend’s event at Chicagoland Speedway.
Truex was penalized 25 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver standings. Manion was fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, 2009. Earnhardt was penalized 25 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner standings. The three were penalized for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); Section 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and Section 20-12.8.1C (right rear quarter panel height did not meet the required specifications; too high in post-race inspection).(NASCAR)(7-14-2009)
- NASCAR's most penalized driver is ... Dustin Long of the Virginian-Pilot did some research on which driver has been penalized the most so far this season so far. Infractions include pitting before pit road is open (something many do after they've been in an accident or had some mechanical troubles), lug nuts not all installed, speeding and pit crew members not taking care or tires or too many during a stop or something like that. #7-Robby Gordon has been penalized 17 times. After him, it's Aric Almirola [only 7 races run] at 11, #77-Sam Hornish Jr., #00-David Reutimann, #12-David Stremme, #55-Michael Waltrip and #29-Kevin Harvick with 10 penalties each. Again, a lot of these penalties -- but not all -- were for pitting before pit road was open. #19-Elliott Sadler, for example, had problems early at Las Vegas and pitted five times before pit road was open, incurring five of his seven penalties this season just in that race. As for speed penalties #43-Reed Sorenson, #18-Kyle Busch and #34-John Andretti (12 races) have each had 4 speeding penalties. See full post and longer lists at the Virginian-Pilot.(6-11-2009)
- Long speaks to Dave Despain on Wind Tunnel: Part-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Long [Carl-long.com - donation info there] joined Dave Despain in-studio Sunday night on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain to discuss his recent NASCAR penalty for an oversized Cup engine during NASCAR Sprint All-Star weekend. Long’s appeal was heard but the penalties, including his suspension and $200,000 fine, were upheld.
Dave Despain: You’ve been vocal in criticizing the penalty here. What do you think should have happened? Had you been NASCAR, what would you have done?
Carl Long: “Kept the engine. Some infraction but not near what we got from this deal.”
Despain: Less penalty?
Long: “Yeah, I’ve been vocal. It was an All-Star Race and in no other All-Star event in any sport does it affect the regular season, so I asked them to change the rules. That didn’t work out too well, either.”
Despain (reading NASCAR statement): Nothing has changed. There have always been severe penalties for attempting to manipulate engine, tires or fuel. Do you have any reaction to that?
Long: “Somewhat. I think that when Richard Petty won the race, he won the race when Bodine did what he did. They were in competition. This was in practice and anyone in the garage area knows my circumstances and why I’m there. The rules are written for what they are but the bottom line is it always has ‘at NASCAR’s discretion.’ There’s a few things – ‘Hey, get this fixed before you come back through tech. Fix this before next week.’ So, I was wrong by expecting to get something out of it. A rule is a rule - that’s what they said. That’s the way it’s got to be. There’s no other game in town, so what do you do?”
Despain: Richard Petty, when he won his 198th race, I think it was, with a huge motor at Charlotte, got a $35,000 fine, which was a record at the time, and they took away 104 points. So, there’s that. When you appealed it, did you think something was going to happen?
Long: “I expected a reduction. I expected the suspension to be dropped or at least the four weeks like Geoff Bodine and Junior Johnson had. I thought about a lot of things but none of them seemed to happen except the infraction got rolled over to a Sprint Cup Series rule and that was the first time I’d seen that happen.”
Despain: They took your original NASCAR suspension, which was 12 weeks, and applied it only to Sprint Cup, meaning you can still work in Truck and Nationwide. How does that change in the suspension affect your life? Does it help?
Long: “A little. It will allow me to go with our Nationwide team but at the same time, if I’m spotting for our Nationwide team, are they going to kick me out of the flagman’s stand if I’m spotting for the Cup team when they change practice sessions? It’s been pretty tough because when I go to the race track, if I was going cheated, I was going to go ‘big cheated’ and if I got kicked out I had every opportunity to load up and go the house and we didn’t. So, here I am and we can’t pay the fine, so we’re just out of NASCAR.”
Despain: Does Ernie Elliott have a role in this? Does the engine builder have any responsibility in your mind?
Long: “I tried to see if NASCAR, when I lobbied the hearing, would make engine builders responsible, and that’s not a part of it. Ernie basically cut me a deal – he had a lot of extra Ganassi engines, he cut me a deal on one. Why it’s big and how it got big I have no idea. His part was as much as it overheated, it melted the head gasket into the cylinder head and he said that’s why it got big.”
Despain: It was a crew chief’s fine … does it revert to you if he can’t pay it?
Long: “Yes, at the end of the year, section 12 of the rulebook basically states any fines not settled goes back to the owner, which my wife was listed as the owner. So, typically, you could say I’m off the hook. But how do I go back to the race track without my wife when it’s my team?”
Despain: Have they run you off?
Long: “I hope not. David Reutimann has started cheerleading and trying to pool up some money and make things happen for us. This penalty is probably at least 300-percent more than what we make. I don’t know how I go forward with it. You want to race. You want to be a part of it. Yes, I can be in the Nationwide Series garage and so forth but at the end of the year, my license is not in good standing. I’ve never seen anything to compare it to in the past.”(SPEEDtv), past news about Long and the penalty on my #46 Team News and Links page.(6-8-2009)
- Long loses appeal of penalty UPDATE 3 donations: #46-Carl Long says he has lost his appeal of a 12-race suspension and penalty. The National Stock Car Racing Commission denied Long's appeal at a hearing Tuesday, the driver said. The commission isolated Long's suspension to the Sprint Cup Series, meaning he can find work in one of the sport's lower levels. However, Long's full-time job is working with the Front Row Motorsports #34 Chevy in the Cup series. The commission also told Long the $200,000 fine levied against crew chief Charles Swing would not fall to Long if Swing can't pay it. Long was penalized for having an illegal engine at Lowe's Motor Speedway last month. The 12-race suspension, 200-point penalty and $200,000 fine are NASCAR records. He said he plans to research how to go about appealing the penalty further. "I'm now suspended only from the Cup garage for 12 weeks," Long told ESPN.com. "At the end of year, though, they're still sitting there with their hands out. So my crew chief still doesn't get his 2010 license if it hasn't been paid. I'm very disappointed in them."(ESPN/AP)
MORE: As the realization that the National Stock Car Commission on Tuesday upheld the record 200-point, $200,000 penalty against him sunk in, Carl Long became increasingly frustrated. Frustration turned to anger. In minutes, he was livid. "Big Bill [France, NASCAR founder] and Bill Jr. ruled the sport like a father -- at the end of the day they took care of their family," Long said. "These guys don't care. They don't have any heart. Basically, it seems like they don't care about the sport, they just want to make a dollar. I truly have a sour taste of the management in our sport. They've forgotten the roots of how this sport was created, and who are the people buying the tickets, sitting in the stands. The people in the stands are me." Multiple calls to NASCAR for comment were not immediately returned. When Long had to change engines prior to the Sprint Showdown, NASCAR surveyed the first engine and determined it to be illegal. He was confident entering Tuesday's appeals hearing. He thought he'd go in, plead his case, and come out with nothing more than a revamped concept of the lucrative engine-building-and-selling business in NASCAR. Not so. More at ESPN.com.(6-2-2009)
UPDATE 2: Statement from Carl Long [savecarllong.com] Following the Appeal: " I am very disappointed in NASCAR's decision. I am not arguing that the size NASCAR measured is big. Ernie Elliott says this happened because of distortion from heat. Allow me the .17 for expansion or show me metallurgy that states how much a block can change at extreme temperatures. Then take this hole in the rules and make engine companies sign the inspection sheet and take responsibility. Fix the rule! Engine builders can argue with NASCAR and their engineers instead of leaving drivers, owners, and crew chiefs to explain properties of cast iron, nickel, and the growth due to heat. We have the option to appeal to the national board in Daytona. I am trying to overcome my emotions versus the facts. After today's hearing, I have lost all faith in the way the appeal system works.(6-3-2009)
UPDATE 3: from Carl Long concerning fan donations, including one by driver David Reuitmann: "I would like to thank all of the fans and supporters who have generously donated their hard-earned cash to help pay my fine and get Carl Long Racing back into NASCAR. I am stunned by the enormous forthcoming of support and could not have imagined that I would ever be this privileged. Carl-long.com - donation info there.(6-5-2009)
- National Stock Car Racing Commission Statement on Carl Long: On June 2, 2009, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of 3 penalties issued by NASCAR relative to the #146 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car following inspection of the car’s engine on May 16, 2009 for an event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”, Section 12-4-I “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules”, and Section 20-5.4A “Engine exceeded the maximum engine size of 358.00 cubic inch displacement.”
The penalties assessed were:
-A loss of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points; suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for owner, Danielle Long
-A loss of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver Points; suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for driver, Carl Long
-A $200,000 fine; suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for crew chief, Charles Swing
The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of the fine and suspension penalties until such time as this hearing could be convened. The Appellants did not contest that the engine was oversized. They argued that the engine had been supplied by a third party and that the infraction may have been due to an error on the part of that supplier, or to expansion due to overheating, or to general wear and tear on the engine. The Appellants further argued that they are a very low budget team incapable of bearing suspensions and a fine of this magnitude.
The NASCAR representative argued that NASCAR has and continues to consider an oversized engine to be one of the most egregious of rules violations, warranting the harshest of penalties. The last penalty notices issued in NASCAR’s top series for an oversized engine were in 1991 and included 12-race suspensions in the series and a sizeable fine for its day.
The Rule Book provides 8 cubic inches of flexibility in engine construction from a minimum of 350.000 cubic inch displacement to a maximum of 358.000 cubic inch displacement. Measurements on the engine in question calculated to a total cubic inch displacement of 358.197. According to the NASCAR representative, even the largest amongst the many, many engines inspected over the years usually allowed ample buffer below the 358.000 c.i.d. line.
The Commission reaffirms that the race team is ultimately responsible for all components on the race car, including any supplied by third-party vendors. The Commission notes that during the hearing, the driver expressed a strong love of racing and a desire to compete at the highest levels of the sport. His testimony came across as genuine and heartfelt.
While it is tempting to consider penalties that this driver and team can more-readily bear, the sport would not be well served by having a sliding scale of penalties calibrated to a given team or member’s resources. Penalties of this magnitude for this type of infraction are warranted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Upon reviewing all the testimony, the National Stock Car Racing Commission has decided to amend the penalties as follows:
-in each of the three Penalty Notices, the statement that reads “Suspended from NASCAR until August 18, 2009” shall be rescinded.
-all other elements of the penalties (points, suspensions from next 12 NSCS events, fine and probations) remain in force.
-the periods of suspension shall be adjusted from the date of this hearing.
The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.(NASCAR)(6-2-2009)
- Robby penalized for rear axle: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #7 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rules violations committed at Lowe’s Motor Speedway earlier this week. The #7 car, driven and owned by Robby Gordon, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4I (any determination by NASCAR Officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-10.6H (rear axle housing exceeded the maximum specified toe of plus or minus one degree) of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. The violation was found during post-race inspection on May 25. As a result, Gordon has been penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner and 50 championship driver points. Crew chief Kirk Almquist has been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR PR)(5-27-2009)
- Long's team recieves record penalty UPDATE 2 will appeal: NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the #46 team [#146] in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions committed during last weekend’s event at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR Officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-5.4A (engine exceeded the maximum engine size of 358.000 cubic inch displacement) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. As a result, crew chief Charles Swing has been fined $200,000, suspended from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship events, suspended from NASCAR until Aug. 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Carl Long and owner Danielle Long have been penalized with the loss of 200 driver and 200 owner points, respectively, suspended from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship events, suspended from NASCAR until Aug. 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(5-20-2009)
STATEMENT: Statement from Carl and DeeDee regarding the recent suspension and fines: "First of all I would like to wish Charles Swing, my crew chief, well. Since this incident he was admitted Monday night to a Georgia hospital with heart problems. He is a stay at home dad who loves to go racing. We purchased an engine from a reputable builder at the beginning of the season. We overheated the engine in practice and had to change it. We had the option to withdraw and go home before admitting it to inspection. Trusting that our blown engine wouldn't have any problems passing NASCAR tech, we submitted it and put our other motor in the car to get ready for the Showdown. As everyone knows it didn't pass tech. The rules are 358 cubic inches and ours is 358.17 cubic inches. The .17 is as wrong as if it would have been 400 cubic inches. This engine is 50 horsepower less than top teams but it was all that could be afforded. I would have never knowingly went to the race track with a big engine! This suspension has not only stopped me from racing, it has also hurt me with my everyday job. It's hard to make a living working at the race track when NASCAR will not let you in. I can only hope that the appeal board will see things differently than the ones that came up with this penalty. I don't consider myself a cheater. I am addicted to the worse drug ever...racing! Every dime we have been able to scrape up, we use to race, because we love the sport. It takes about a half million in equipment to be able to build an engine, so I have to rely on other people and this time it bit me. Thanks for supporting me in wherever this goes! (Carl-long.com)(5-21-2009)
UPDATE 2: Carl Long says his appeal is scheduled for June 2, the Tuesday after Dover. Long is appealing the NASCAR penalty for the oversized engine in his car last week. NASCAR fined his crew chief $200,000 and suspended Long and his wife (listed as the owner) for 12 events. Long says his engine size was 358.17 cubic inches. The limit is 358.0, although supposedly NASCAR allows up to 358.09 cubic inches.(Virginian Pilot), Long can be at the track and work his 'everyday job' with Front Row Motorsports.(5-25-2009)
- Crew Member Jimmy Watts Suspended Four Races UPDATE: Jimmy Watts, a crew member [gasman] for the #47 Marcos Ambrose team, was suspended for the remainder of the race after he ran onto the infield grass -- a prohibited area -- to retrieve a loose tire on [caused] the third caution of the race.(ESPN/AP), the caution would had been called anyway, due to the tire in the infield and it was still slowly moving towards the track.
AND A quiet and remorseful Jimmy Watts stood outside the NASCAR hauler during the Kobalt Tools 500 to meet with NASCAR officials after he had been suspended for the remainder of the event for running onto the frontstretch grass with the race under green-flag conditions to retrieve a tire from the JTG Daugherty Racing car on lap 67. Watts, a gas man who also works for the Charlotte Fire Department, said he has been in the sport for more than seven years and just made a mistake. NASCAR threw the caution as he chased the tire. The tire had rolled on to the frontstretch grass when it got loose from the JTG Daugherty team of driver Marcos Ambrose and was knocked away by the Yates Racing team. “I saw the tire going away and it was a reaction – the wrong one,” Watts said. Watts said he “certainly did not” think that the tire would roll that far across the grass and by the time he was in the middle of it, he realized he was in a bad position. Watts said he hoped to be back next week but was waiting to talk to NASCAR officials to see if any additional penalties would be issued.(SceneDaily)(3-9-2009)
UPDATE: Jimmy Watts, a crew member for the #47 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been suspended from the next four Sprint Cup Series events (until April 22) for rule violations during last Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Watts was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 9-15-U (crew members must not go on the race track for any reason while the cars are racing or while the cars are running under the yellow flag or the red flag, unless otherwise directed to do so by a NASCAR official). Watts has also been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. In addition, Frank Kerr, crew chief for the #47, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1 and 9-4-A (crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of the team).(NASCAR PR)(3-10-2009)
- Crew Member in Violation of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy UPDATE: Paul Chodora, a licensed crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. On Feb. 11, Chodora was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 7-5 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(2-19-2009)
UPDATE: Chodora, who NASCAR confirmed was a member of Jeremy Mayfield's #41 Sprint Cup team Thursday, is the first person to be punished under the policy that was amended last season to mandatory preseason testing and random testing throughout the season. Kevin Harvick fired two members of his Truck Series team that failed drug tests given by his organization, not NASCAR, prior to the season. Mayfield's team was formed only a month ago and crew members were not all hired at the time of NASCAR's preseason testing in January. Chodora was given a license by the governing body to participate in Sunday's Daytona 500, then was tested and suspended after only a day and a half of work. Chodora has served previously as a front tire changer with Johnny Sauter's team.(ESPN)(2-19-2009)
STATEMENT: The following is a statement from driver/owner Jeremy Mayfield of Mayfield Motorsports regarding Paul Chodora, who was found to be in violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy: “Mayfield Motorsports respects the decision by NASCAR to indefinitely suspend Paul Chodora. We as an organization appreciate NASCAR's drug testing policies and policing efforts as it makes the sport stronger overall. If Paul doesn’t comply with NASCAR’s reinstatement process, then he will no longer be an employee of Mayfield Motorsports.”(Mayfield Motorsports/Co-Pilott PR)(2-19-2009)