After warning Richard Childress Racing that the team’s No. 33 Sprint Cup Chevy was close to failing post-race inspection at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR took a closer look at Clint Bowyer’s race-winning Chevy from the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The car initially passed post-race inspection. But, upon further review at the research and development center, issues with the car were discovered.
On Wednesday, RCR was penalized by NASCAR for infractions found on the NH car. The No. 33 team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-3 (car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis did not meet NASCAR-approved specifications) of the NASCAR rule book.
Crew Chief Shane Wilson was fined $150,000 and suspended for the next six races and placed on probation for the remainder of the calendar year. Car chief Chad Haney was also suspended for the next six races and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
Clint Bowyer was penalized 150 driver points, dropping him from second in the standings to 12th, and Richard Childress was penalized 150 owner points.
The Richmond car, which Bowyer drove to a Chase-clinching, sixth-place finish and was chosen for a random inspection after the race. Once the car was analyzed at the research and development center, the rear end of the car was found to be very close to mandated tolerance levels. The team was warned, but not penalized for the Richmond car.
Update: Richard Childress Racing is appealing the penalty, according to ESPN. As a result, Shane Wilson can remain on the pit box until the appeal is heard. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton expects that to occur next week.
RCR is claiming that Bowyer’s car was found to be higher than legal thresholds in the back because the car was pushed by the wrecker after it ran out of gas following the wreck, and possibly because of contact during the race.