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2012 NASCAR Penalty News

  • According to the numbers provided by NASCAR, in 146 appeals heard since November 1999
    102 were upheld, 31 were reduced, 11 were overturned and in two cases the penalties were increased.
  • APPEALS – results 1999 to current
    146 total appeals
    102 upheld
    31 reduced
    11 overturned
    2 increased
    (NASCAR)(9-10-2012)
  • FINAL APPEALS – results 1999 to current
    15 total appeals
    9 upheld
    2 reduced
    1 overturned
    (NASCAR)(thru last final appeal 9-14-2012)
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Points Penalties for the 2012 season
    #24-Jeff Gordon and team owner 25 points [Phoenix 11-11-2012], no appeal
    #27-Paul Menard and team owner 25 points [Michigan 8/19/2012], appeal Sept 10th, 1st and final appeals – penalties upheld
    #14-Tony Stewart and team owner 6 points [Daytona 7-7-2012], no appeal
    NOTE: in the current system a 6 point penalty is the same as a 25 points penalty in the old system
    and a 25 point penalty is similar to a 100 point penalty in the old system [1975-2010]
  • 2012 National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer
    National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer: John Middlebrook, retired GM Executive
    Commission Members for 2012
    Member Title
    Mark Arute Stafford Motor Speedway chief operating officer and general manager
    Christiane Ayotte
    Buddy Baker Retired driver
    Lee Baumgarten Phoenix International Raceway director of operations
    Jeff Belskus
    Ed Bennett, Appellate Administrator
    John Bishop, Founder, IMSA
    Clay Campbell Martinsville Speedway president
    John Capels USAC chairman
    Joie Chitwood, Daytona International Speedway
    Ken Klapp
    Barbara Cromarty Riverhead Raceway (N.Y.) owner
    Robert L. DuPont
    Laurel Farrell
    Doug Fritz Richmond International Raceway president
    Richard Gore Old Dominion Speedway (Va.) owner
    Janet Guthrie Retired driver
    Russell Hackett Carraway Speedway (N.C.) owner
    David Hall Former co-founder and president of TNN/CMT
    Hurley Haywood
    John Horton
    Jack Housby President, Housby Trucking
    Stan Lasky
    Bill Lester,
    Steve Lewis
    Grant Lynch Talladega Superspeedway president
    Denis McGlynn Dover International Speedway president and CEO
    Leo Mehl Former director of Goodyear racing, former executive director of the Indy Racing League
    Bud Moore Retired car owner
    Bill Mullis
    Steve Page Infineon Raceway president
    Buddy Parrott
    Dale Pinilis Bowman-Gray Stadium (N.C.) operator
    Robert Pressley
    Cathy Rice South Boston Speedway (Va.) general manager
    Shawna Robinson, former driver
    Jay Signore, former IROC series owner
    Lyn St. James Retired driver
    H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler Jr. former Charlotte Motor Speedway president
    Kevin Whitaker Greenville Pickens Speedway (S.C.) operator
    John White
    Jim Williams Irwindale Speedway (Calif.) president
    Jo DeWitt Wilson Former president of North Carolina Speedway
    Waddell Wilson Former crew chief/engine builder
    Robert Yates Retired car owner

Sprint Cup Series Penalties

  • Reason why Keselowski was fined for cell phone UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski was fined $25,000 on Monday for tweeting during the red flag at Phoenix International Raceway. The punishment was confusing to fans who vented on Twitter, of course, wondering why Keselowski was punished for Sunday’s tweets when he was celebrated by NASCAR for doing the exact same thing in February’s season-opening race. Some alleged the Sprint Cup Series points leader was actually being disciplined for his profanity-laced outburst after Sunday’s crash- and fight-marred race. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp on Tuesday dismissed the conspiracy theories, and said drivers had been told after the Daytona 500 that electronic devices – including cellphones – could not be carried inside the race cars going forward. “Brad’s tweeting at the Daytona 500 was really our first introduction to the magnitude of the social media phenomenon at the race track, especially how we saw it unfold that evening,” Tharp said. “We encourage our drivers to participate in social media. We feel we have the most liberal social media policy in all of sports, and the access we provide is the best in all of sports. But we also have rules that pertain to competition that need to be enforced and abided by. Once the 500 took place, and in the days and weeks following the 500, NASCAR communicated to the drivers and teams that while social media was encouraged and we promoted it, the language in the rule book was clear and that drivers couldn’t carry onboard their cars electronic devices, like a phone.” NASCAR did not issue a technical bulletin to clarify phones could no longer be inside cars, and the clarification to drivers was apparently done quietly. In fact, Keselowski tweeted from Victory Lane at Bristol in March, and from inside his car parked on pit road during a rain delay at Richmond in September. It’s possible someone could have handed him his phone both times.(in part from the Associated Press)(11-14-2012)
    UPDATE Don’t look for Brad Keselowski to challenge NASCAR’s authority and carry a cell phone in his car on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    “I will say probably not,” Keselowski said during Thursday’s champion press conference at Homestead. Asked if he thought it was hypocritical to be fined after his Daytona phone usage got NASCAR so much publicity, Keselowski said, “It doesn’t matter whether it is, it exists and I have to work around it.” Asked if he had been warned by NASCAR prior to Phoenix, Keselowski said, “I’d rather stay out of that line (of questioning).” But when asked what the fine meant to the future of social media in NASCAR, Keselowski said, “It means you can still be involved in social media. NASCAR has drawn the line as what you can do in the car.”(ESPN)(11-15-2012)
  • NASCAR Issues Penalties From Sunday’s Event at Phoenix: NASCAR announced penalties to three teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) – altercation with another competitor on the race track during the race – and has been fined $100,000, docked 25 championship driver points and put on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Rick Hendrick, owner of the #24 car, has also been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points. Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #24 car, also was found to be in violation of Section 9-4A (at all events, crew chief assumes responsibility of his driver, car owner and team members) and has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    Brian Pattie, crew chief of the #15 car, violated Sections 12-1 and 9-4A and has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 car, has been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating Sections 12-1 and 20-6.7A (cars and drivers will not be permitted to carry onboard computers, automated electronic recording devices, electronically actuated devices, power distribution modules, power conditioners, micro-processors, recording devices, electronic digital memory chips, traction control devices, digital readout gauges and the like, even if inoperable or incomplete) – driver had a cell phone in his possession onboard the race car. All of these violations occurred during the Nov. 11 event at PIR.
    Statement From Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition: “Following a thorough analysis of the actions that took place during Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway, we have issued penalties based upon our review. The decisions announced today cover NASCAR’s full assessment of penalties for the incidents that occurred. There’s no doubt that a unique set of circumstances combined with a championship battle on the line resulted in raw emotions coming into play. We consider the penalties appropriate and those involved understand our decision and we expect them to abide by them.”(NASCAR)(11-12-2012)
  • Hendrick Motorsports Statement: Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal sanctions announced today by NASCAR regarding the #24 Sprint Cup Series team and driver Jeff Gordon. “I’ve always respected Jeff for standing his ground,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “We also respect that NASCAR needs to police the sport and send a message when situations like this occur. It’s been a great year, and we’re going to put our focus on finishing in a positive way this weekend.”
    “I take responsibility for my actions on the racetrack,” Gordon said. “I accept NASCAR’s decision and look forward to ending the season on a high note at Homestead.”(HMS)(11-12-2012)
  • #27 team penalty upheld on appeal: On Sept. 14, 2012, National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook heard and considered the appeal of the six-week suspension penalty of crew member Grant Hutchens, team engineer for the Richard Childress Racing #27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. Upon hearing the testimony of both parties and carefully reviewing the facts, it was the Chief Appellate Officer’s decision to uphold the original penalty assessed by NASCAR. Therefore, Hutchens’ suspension from NASCAR is effective immediately until Oct. 25 and his NASCAR probation will continue until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(9-14-2012)
  • National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Statement about #27 penalty: The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of the #27 Richard Childress NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; Section 12-4K: If, in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, race equipment that has been previously certified or previously approved by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired or changed in any matter. Intentionally modifying previously certified frame rails for the purpose of deceiving NASCAR’s inspection gauges.
    The penalties stemmed from a post-race inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center on Aug. 21 following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19.
    The original penalties assessed were:
    · Car owner (Richard Childress): Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship car owner points;
    · Car driver (Paul Menard): Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points;
    · Crew chief (Richard Labbe): $100,000 fine; suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;
    · Car chief (Craig Smokstad): Suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;
    · Crew member (Grant Hutchens): Suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    The Appellant did not appeal the loss of 25 championship car owner and 25 championship driver points or the $100,000 fine and six-week suspension of crew chief Richard Labbe, who began serving his suspension from NASCAR Sept. 4. The Appellant did appeal the six-week suspensions of Craig Smokstad and Grant Hutchens.
    The Appellant acknowledged that the #27 car failed post-race inspection.
    Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. Therefore, both Smokstad and Hutchens’ six-week suspensions from NASCAR will be effective immediately. The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer. The panel hearing the appeal were: Dale Pinilis, Robert Yates and Jack Housby. Jason Cohen is the Appellate Administrator and non-voting member.(NASCAR)(9-10-2012)
  • #27 team penalty appeal date/time set: The date and time to hear the Richard Childress Racing appeal of penalties to #27-Paul Menard’s NASCAR Sprint Cup team has been set. The appeal will be held on Monday, Sept. 10 at 2:00pm/et. RCR’s appeal allows the team members to continue to work at the track until the hearing. If the penalty is upheld, the suspensions will begin at that time (FoxSports). More info about the penalty and other penalties, see my 2012 Penalties page.(9-1-2012)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing will appeal the six-week suspension of Craig Smokstad (car chief for Paul Menard’s #27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car) and Grant Hutchens (crew member for the #27 car), the team has informed NASCAR. RCR will not appeal the $100,000 fine and six-week suspension of crew chief Slugger Labbe, and it will not appeal the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, according to NASCAR. Menard’s car was taken back to NASCAR’s research and development center after last month’s race at Michigan. NASCAR said the frame rails had been intentionally modified in an effort to deceive inspectors. The appeal is scheduled for Monday at the NASCAR Research and Development Center.(AP/ESPN/NASCAR)(9-6-2012)
  • #27 team and Menard penalized UPDATE 2 – Appeal: NASCAR could come down hard on the #27 Richard Childress Racing team after discovering irregularities with the frame rails on the car driven by Paul Menard last weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Menard’s car was taken to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. after finishing ninth in the Pure Michigan 400 Sunday (FOXSports).(8-22-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the #27 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rules infractions discovered this week during post-race inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center following last Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway.
    The #27 team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4K (race equipment that has been previously certified or previously approved by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired or changed in any manner. Intentionally modifying frame rails for the purpose of deceiving NASCAR’s inspection gauges) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book.
    As a result, crew chief Slugger Labbe has been fined $100,000, suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 3 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Car chief Craig Smokstad has been suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 3 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, while crew member Grant Hutchens has also been suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 3 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Driver Paul Menard and owner Richard Childress have been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver and owner points, respectively.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(8-22-2012)
    APPEAL: “We’re going to appeal it,” Childress told FOXSports.com “That’s all I’m going to say right now.” If RCR appeals, Labbe will be allowed to continue his crew chief duties this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.(8-22-2012)
    UPDATE2: Richard Childress Racing is appealing the penalties NASCAR levied against Paul Menard’s race team this week. Crew chief Slugger Labbe is at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday working on the #27 Chevy. All sanctions are on hold during the appeal process. Meanwhile, an RCR spokesman also confirmed that Gil Martin is back as crew chief for Kevin Harvick. Martin worked with Harvick for three seasons, but was replaced by Shane Wilson this year.(Associated Press)(8-24-2012)
  • #18 JGR Team Penalized For Rule Infractions: NASCAR announced penalties and fines to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Michigan International Speedway. The #18 Toyota was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. The infraction occurred during practice on Aug. 18. As a result of the violation, crew chief Dave Rogers has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Oct. 3. In addition, car chief Wesley Sherrill has been placed on NASCAR probation until Oct. 3.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(8-21-2012)
  • #14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Penalized For Infractions at Daytona: NASCAR has issued a penalty as a result of rules infractions committed during last weekend’s events at Daytona International Speedway. The #14 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book); and 20-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). The violation occurred during post-qualifying inspection July 6. As a result, crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Car chief Jeff Meendering has been placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Driver Tony Stewart and owner Margaret Haas have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and six championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)
    STATEMENT The following is a statement from Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, regarding today’s penalty levied by NASCAR against the team’s #14 Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Tony Stewart for a post-qualifying rules infraction July 6 at Daytona International Speedway: “While we respect and accept NASCAR’s decision, we want to be clear that there was no malicious intent. In a rush to replace a cracked rear windshield that happened during tech inspection prior to qualifying, we jostled a cooling hose that was behind the seat. We understand NASCAR’s position and will abide by its decision.”(7-10-2012)
  • NASCAR Issues Fines And Probation For Violations at Darlington: NASCAR has fined Kurt Busch, driver of the #51 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, $50,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until July 25 for his actions during the May 12 race at Darlington Raceway. Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; reckless driving on pit road during the race; involved in an altercation with another competitor after the completion of the race) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Additionally, Craig Strickler, a crew member for the #51 team, has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; interfering with a member of the broadcast media).
    Tony Gibson, crew chief for the #39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has been placed on NASCAR probation until June 27 for violating Section 12-1 and Sections 12-4G and 9-4A (Crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members). Andrew Rueger, a crew member for the #39 team, has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 27 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; failure to comply with a directive from a NASCAR official). Both of these violations occurred post-race.(NASCAR)(5-15-2012)
  • NASCAR President defends appeals process: NASCAR president Mike Helton said he believes in the sport’s rules inspectors and the overall appeals process, despite the decision Tuesday that overturned most of the penalties imposed on Jimmie Johnson’s #48 Chevy from a body-alignment issue at Daytona last month. “We think the decision made this week supports the inspection process with the elements of the penalty that were upheld,” Helton said Friday at Auto Club Speedway. “It indicates they did their job correctly.” NASCAR originally penalized the #48 team 25 points and suspended both crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six races, along with fining Knaus $100,000. Before the car went on the track at Daytona, inspectors said the C-posts (on each side of the rear window) were not within the tolerances of the rule book, but the car was not measured on the templates. Both Knaus and Malec were allowed to continue working races while the penalty was appealed by Hendrick Motorsports. A three-man appeals panel held up the penalties two weeks ago, but most of the penalties were rescinded Tuesday by chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, a former GM executive who has the final say in the appeals process. The points and the suspensions were eliminated by Middlebrook, but the fine was upheld. Helton said the fact that the fine was upheld proves that NASCAR inspectors discovered a violation. “Elements of the penalty were upheld based on parts of the car that did not conform to the rules,” Helton said. “The debate was how we reacted to it. That’s as much a bureaucratic decision as it is a competition decision.” Middlebrook has not spoken publicly about his reasons for greatly reducing the penalty. The surprising decision by Middlebrook has caused some people to wonder if changes are needed in the inspection or appeals process, but Helton said NASCAR has no plans to do so.(ESPN)(3-23-2012)
  • Townley placed on probation: NASCAR announced today that it has placed John Wes Townley, driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, on probation until Dec. 31, 2012. Townley violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. The violation occurred Feb. 7. In addition to the steps already underway by his team RAB Racing, Townley will be evaluated by a certified substance abuse professional at NASCAR’s discretion and will be subject to random alcohol and drug testing.(NASCAR)(3-22-2012)
  • Hendrick Motorsports to make final appeal on Tuesday UPDATE reduced: Hendrick Motorsports will make its final appeal Tuesday over penalties issued for what NASCAR says were illegal C-posts on the car of five-time Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson at Daytona. A three-member appeals board already has rejected one appeal by team owner Rick Hendrick, who now takes his case to NASCAR’s chief appellate officer, John Middlebrook, for a hearing Tuesday. Hendrick officials and NASCAR officials will meet with Middlebrook at the same team – a different format than the first appeal hearing, when both sides presented their cases separately.(SceneDaily)
    UPDATE: NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING CHIEF APPELLATE OFFICER STATEMENT:
    On March 20, 2012, the Chief Appellate Officer heard and considered the appeal of the penalties resulting from the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. This stemmed from an opening day inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012.
    The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing;” Section 12-4(J): “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event;” and Section 20-2.1(E): “If in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted: Unapproved car body modifications.”
    The results of the appeal hearing were as follows:
    – Rescinding the loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points (for Jeff Gordon).
    – Rescinding the loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points (for Jimmie Johnson).
    – Rescinding the six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events suspension for the Crew Chief (Chad Knaus) and Car Chief (Ron Malec), however both will remain on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.
    – $100,000 fine remains in place for the Crew Chief (Chad Knaus).
    John Middlebrook – Chief Appellate Officer.(NASCAR)(3-20-2012)
  • National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Statement – Penalty Upheld: On March 13, 2012, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing;” Section 12-4(J): “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event;” and Section 20-2.1(E): “If in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted: Unapproved car body modifications.”
    This stemmed from an opening day inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012.
    The original penalties assessed prior to the deferral were:
    – Car Owner (Jeffrey M. Gordon) – Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points;
    – Car Driver (Jimmie K. Johnson) – Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points;
    – Crew Chief (Chad A. Knaus) – $100,000.00 fine. Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.
    – Car Chief (Ron P. Malec) – Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.
    Upon hearing the testimony, carefully reviewing the facts and historically comparative penalties, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel (John Capels, Leo Mehl, Dale Pinilis and Ed Bennett: Appellate Administrator and non-voting member) was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.(NASCAR)
    Hendrick Statement..appeal continues Hendrick Motorsports will request a hearing before the National Stock Car Racing chief appellate officer to continue its appeal of NASCAR sanctions related to the #48 Sprint Cup Series team. “The panel was generous with its time today, and we appreciated the opportunity to talk through our concerns,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “We feel strongly about this issue and will continue to pursue it at the next level.” Adjustments to #48 team personnel are not planned while the appeal is ongoing.(HMS)(3-13-2012)
  • Knaus appeal to be heard TODAY: UPDATE: Team owner Rick Hendrick and #48 crew chief Chad Knaus will get to explain next Tuesday why they think NASCAR erred in penalizing Hendrick Motorsports for the C-posts on the Daytona 500 car of Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR confirmed that the appeal will be heard Tuesday morning at its Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. A three-member panel will determine whether NASCAR officials were justified in suspending Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six weeks as well as penalizing five-time Cup champion Johnson 25 points and fining Knaus $100,000. Both Hendrick and Knaus have said they believe templates should have been put on the car before it was confiscated Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. While teams often aren’t successful on appeal, Hendrick has won one appeal of a suspension of Knaus in 2005. Knaus has been suspended three other times in his career.(Sporting News)(2-8-2012)
    UPDATE: This is the scene of the National Stock Car Racing Commission. There are 45 members, but they rotate through for hearings. Two members and the chairman, who doesn’t vote, hear each case. They will be listening to the Hendrick Motorsports appeal of the hefty penalty given to Jimmie Johnson’s team for violations discovered last month during initial inspection for the Daytona 500. Team owner Rick Hendrick doesn’t believe the six-race suspensions that NASCAR handed to crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec — as well as the 25-point penalty given to Johnson — are fair. He’ll argue that the governing body confiscated the C-posts deemed illegal before they went through tech. He’ll argue that the same car with the same C-posts — pillars that come down from the roof to the rear quarter panel — passed NASCAR’s inspection 16 times previously. Odds are, he’ll lose.
    Not necessarily because he doesn’t have a good case, but because the commission seldom overturns decisions. When Richard Childress Racing appealed Clint Bowyer’s 150-point penalty in the fall of 2010, the commission had upheld 88 of 132 decisions between the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series, reduced 42 and increased two. Most of the reductions were in the lower series. The last time a Cup penalty was reduced was in 2008 with Robby Gordon’s team. The last time a Sprint Cup penalty was completely overturned came in 2005, when insufficient evidence was found that Michael Waltrip made an inappropriate gesture during a television broadcast.(ESPN)(3-13-2012)
  • NASCAR suspends Knaus for six weeks; Hendrick to appeal: NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the #48 team in the Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions found on Feb. 17 during opening day inspection for the Daytona 500. The #48 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (if in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted — unapproved car body modifications). As a result, crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec have been suspended from the next six Sprint Cup Series championship events, suspended from NASCAR until April 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 9. Additionally, Knaus has been fined $100,000. Driver Jimmie Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon have been penalized with the loss of 25 driver and 25 owner points, respectively.(NASCAR)
    AND Hendrick Motorsports will appeal sanctions announced by NASCAR related to the #48 Sprint Cup Series team.
    “Our organization respects NASCAR and the way the sanctioning body governs our sport,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “In this case, though, the system broke down, and we will voice our concerns through the appeal process.” Adjustments to #48 team personnel are not planned while the appeal is ongoing.(Hendrick Motorsports)(2-29-2012)

 

Nationwide Series Penalties

 

  • Crew Member suspended by NASCAR: Ryan Hess, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. On Aug. 22, Hess was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR) Hess was the gas man for the #81 MacDonald Motorsports team.(8-23-2012)
  • #43 team penalized – Revised:NASCAR has penalized the #43 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during post-race inspection last Saturday at Iowa Speedway. The #43 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12.8.1B (body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As a result, crew chief Philippe Lopez has been fined $10,000, while owner Sandra Turner and driver Michael Annett have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively. In addition, Lopez and car chief Michael Wright continue to remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR) Corrects rule infraction 20A-12.8.1B. Car failed to meet the minimum front car heights, not rear as originally stated.(8-7-2012)
  • Dillon’s and Logano’s teams penalized after Daytona: The #3 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20A-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). This violation occurred during post-qualifying inspection on July 6. Crew chief Danny Stockman has been fined $10,000 and due to the violation of his probation, has been suspended from NASCAR until July 25. Car chief Robert Strmiska has also been suspended from NASCAR competition until July 25 due to the violation of his probation. This past May 1, both Stockman and Strmiska were placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, for rules violations committed at Richmond International Raceway. Driver Austin Dillon and owner Morgan Shepherd have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and six championship owner points, respectively.
    The #18 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J; and 20A-12.8.1(B) (car failed to meet minimum front car heights). This violation occurred during post-race inspection July 6. Crew chief Adam Stevens has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Car chief Christopher Landis has been placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Owner Joe Gibbs has been penalized with the loss of six championship owner points.(NASCAR)(7-10-2012)
  • Rick Ware penalty upheld: On July 10, 2012, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #41 Rick Ware Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series team. The penalties concern Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; Section 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to the NASCAR Rules detailed in Section 20-A of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event; Section 20A-12.8.1(B): Cars must be constructed with the front fender height for both right and left front fenders of 30 inches, with the main frame rails set at six (6) inches in the front and eight (8) inches in the rear above the construction surface. The height of the front of the car will be measured using NASCAR-approved front height gauges. The gauges will contact the front fenders at a designated location at the intersection of the NASCAR C (Front Hood Lateral) template and the hood seam. For inspections prior to competition, the front car heights will be a minimum of 29-5/8 inches and a maximum of 30 inches. For inspections after competition, the minimum front car heights permitted will be 29-1/4 inches, and the maximum front car heights permitted will be 30-1/2 inches: The car failed to meet the minimum front car heights. This stemmed from a post-race inspection for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, 2012. The original penalties assessed were: Car Owner (Rick S. Ware): Loss of 6 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points; Crew Chief (George D. Church): $10,000 fine; Car Driver (Tim G. Hill): Loss of 6 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points. The Appellant acknowledged the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights during the post-race inspection per the 2012 rulebook. Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, the majority decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.(NASCAR)(7-10-2012)
  • Dillon’s car fails post-race inspection: UPDATE: NASCAR officials announced that Austin Dillon’s #3 Richard Childress Racing car which won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway failed postrace inspection because the car’s heights were too low in the rear. A penalty will be issued [on Tuesday].(Kentucky Speedway)(6-29-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has penalized the #3 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during post-race inspection last Friday at Kentucky Speedway.
    The #3 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12.8.1C (body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum rear car heights) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As a result, crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. has been fined $10,000, while owner Morgan Shepherd and driver Austin Dillon have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively. In addition, Stockman and car chief Robert Strmiska continue to remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(7-2-2012)
  • Teams penalized after Charlotte: NASCAR has penalized two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams for rules infractions that were committed last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The #41 car was found to be in violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12.8.1(B) (body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As a result, crew chief George Church has been fined $10,000 while owner Rick Ware and driver Timmy Hill have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively. The violation was discovered during post-race inspection May 26.
    Philippe Lopez, crew chief for the #43 car, and Michael Wright, car chief for the #43 car, have been penalized for rules infractions discovered during opening day inspection May 24. Lopez has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Wright has also been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The #43 car rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book); 20A-2.1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel will not be permitted. If, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance); 20A-3.10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.)(NASCAR)(5-29-2012)
  • Penske teams have to change bumper covers: Penske Racing’s Nationwide teams spent Thursday afternoon replacing the upper front bumper covers of the cars of #22-Brad Keselowski and #12-Sam Hornish Jr. at Talladega Superspeedway. Bumper covers appear to have been a point of emphasis for NASCAR officials at the last two races. Last week at Richmond, NASCAR confiscated the bumper covers of all three Richard Childress Racing cars and all three Turner Motorsports cars. The Penske teams will be allowed to participate in all track activities—practice is scheduled for Thursday afternoon but heavy rains are putting those sessions in jeopardy. Any penalties will be announced next week.(Sporting News)(5-3-2012)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced that two NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chiefs had been fined and placed on probation for violations during this past weekend’s event at Talladega Superspeedway. In addition, the teams’ respective car chiefs have also been placed on probation for the remainder of the year. Crew chiefs Jeremy Bullins (#22 team) and Chad Walter (#12 team) have each been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Additionally, the teams’ respective car chiefs – Thomas Clavette (#22) and Raymond Fox (#12) – have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book); 20A-2.1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel will not be permitted. If, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance); 20A-3.10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.)(NASCAR)(5-8-2012)
  • Teams have bumper covers confiscated: UPDATES: All three Richard Childress Racing teams and all three Turner Motorsports teams replaced the upper front bumper covers on their Nationwide Series cars Thursday after NASCAR confiscated modified bumper covers during inspection. Nationwide teams went through inspection Thursday at Richmond International Raceway to prepare for practice Friday morning and the race Friday night. Any penalties will be announced next week. No crew members were ejected from the track. Included in the group were the cars of series points leader #2-Elliott Sadler, who drives for RCR and has a four-point lead on Roush Fenway Racing’s #6-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Along with Sadler, other drivers who had their front bumper covers confiscated were RCR’s #3-Austin Dillon and #33-Kevin Harvick and Turner’s #30-James Buescher, #31-Justin Allgaier and #38-Kasey Kahne.(Sporting News)(4-26-2012)
    UPDATE: Elliott Sadler, interviewed on SiriusXM Radio Monday afternoon said that the team crew chiefs and car chiefs had been placed on probation and fined $10,000. NASCAR has not yet officially announced the penalty.(5-1-2012)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced that six NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chiefs had been fined and placed on probation for violations during this past weekend’s event at Richmond International Raceway. In addition, the teams’ respective car chiefs have also been placed on probation for the remainder of the year. Crew chiefs Luke Lambert (#2 team), Danny Stockman (#3 team), Trent Owens (#30 team), Jimmy Elledge (#31 team), Ernie Cope (#33 team), and Mike Shiplett (#38 team) have each been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Additionally, the teams’ respective car chiefs – Phil Gould (#2), Robert Strmiska (#3), Shannon Rursch (#30), Ronald Hornaday III (#31), Paul Balmer (#33), and Christopher Meyers (#38) – have likewise been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
    The rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book); 20A-2.1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel will not be permitted. If, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance); 20A-3.10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.)(NASCAR)(5-1-2012)
  • Grubb fined by NASCAR: NASCAR announced that Wayne Grubb, crew chief of the #27 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been fined for violations during this past weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway. Grubb was fined $2,500 for violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12 (use of hollow bolts in truck trailing arms and panhard bar) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. The infractions were discovered during opening day inspection on April 12.(NASCAR)(4-17-2012)

 

Camping World Truck Series Penalties

 

  • NASCAR penalizes #57 team for Talladega infraction: UPDATE Appeal results and statement: NASCAR has penalized the #57 team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection last Thursday, Oct. 4 at Talladega Superspeedway. The #57 truck was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20B of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event); Section 20B-2.3A: (any weight added to the truck must be bolted inside the body shell in an approved weight container and in a position acceptable to NASCAR Officials: Improperly attached weight to the truck bed cover) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As a result, crew chief Ted Walters has been fined $5,000, and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(10-9-2012)
    UPDATE: On Dec. 3, 2012, the Chief Appellate Officer heard and considered the appeal of the penalties of the No. 57 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. The penalties concern Sections 12-1: (Actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J: (Any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20B of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20B-2.3A (Any weight added to the truck must be bolted inside the body shell in an approved weight container and in a position acceptable to NASCAR officials – improperly attached weight to the truck bed cover) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. The penalties stemmed from a failed opening-day inspection in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Talladega Superspeedway on Thursday, Oct. 4. The results of the appeal hearing were as follows: upholding the NASCAR probation of crew chief Ted Walters until Dec. 3; reducing the fine of crew chief Ted Walters from $5,000 to $1,000.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(12-3-2012)
  • NASCAR reinstates crew member: NASCAR has reinstated crew member Keith Wolfe upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program following his Feb. 29, 2012 suspension for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. [Wolfe, #0 crew chief JJCR truck, was suspended as a result of violations discovered Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway.](NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(5-22-2012)
  • Crew member suspended indefinitely by NASCAR: Keith Wolfe, a crew member [#0 crew chief JJCR truck] in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR as a result of violations discovered Feb. 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Wolfe violated sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 2-11 (failure to notify of felony and/or substance abuse related law violations); and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications PR)(2-29-2012)