Following the recent race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) and Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), NASCAR has handed down penalties for rules violations by four teams — three in the Sprint Cup Series and one in the Truck Series. NASCAR announced all penalties on Wednesday.
Both Penske Racing teams in the Sprint Cup Series — the No. 2 Ford team with driver Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 Ford team with driver Logano — were fined for suspension issues. The rules NASCAR cited as being violated included section 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 20-12 (all suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted, in a completed form/assembly, to the office of the NASCAR Competition Administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond normal rotation or suspension travel.) of the 2013 NASCAR rule book.
As a result of the violations crew chiefs on both teams — Paul Wolfe (2) and Todd Gordon (22) — have been fined $100,000, suspended for six races and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Car chiefs and team engineers — Jerry Kelley and Brian Wilson (2) and Raymond Fox and Samuel Stanley (22) — and team manager Travis Geisler have also been suspended for six races and placed on probation until the end of the year. In addition, both teams and drivers were docked 25 owner and driver points.
The unapproved suspension parts were discovered and confiscated by NASCAR officials during pre-race inspections on Saturday.
The No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota team with driver Martin Truex Jr. in the Sprint Cup Series were also penalized. The No. 56 car failed to meet minimum height requirements during post-race inspection at Texas on Sunday. As a result the team was cited for violation of rules 12-1, 12-4J and 20-12.8.1B (the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights during post-race inspection) of the 2013 rule book.
As a result, crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until June 5. Driver Truex and car owner Michael Waltrip were each docked six driver and owner points.
After the penalty announcement, Michael Waltrip Racing released the following statement:
“Michael Waltrip Racing is sensitive to working within the guidelines of NASCAR policy. This infraction clearly occurred as a result of a malfunction caused by race conditions. Therefore, we will not appeal. We thank NASCAR for providing a fair and equitable platform for all of its competitors and respect its decisions.”
NASCAR also handed down penalties to Ron Hornaday, driver of the No. 9 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet in the Camping World Truck Series, following his actions in Sunday’s truck race at Rockingham. NASCAR determined that Hornaday violated section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing. Altercation with another competitor on the race track during a caution period) of the 2013 rule book. As a result, he was fined $25,000 and penalized 25 driver points.
Hornaday was penalized for making contact NASCAR deemed intentional with the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota driven by Darrell Wallace Jr. during a late-race caution. NTS Motorsports has not plans to appeal the penalty. The team released the following statement:
“NTS Motorsports received notification of NASCAR’s penalties assessed for the incident involving Ron Hornaday Jr., occurring at Rockingham Speedway. NTS supports NASCAR’s rulings and penalties, will not appeal and has no further comments.”
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR