NASCAR has issued penatlies to Whitney Motorsports’ No. 46 Sprint Cup team as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection for the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The team was penalized for violating 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 required rules); and 20-2.3A (unapproved added weight location and unapproved added weight – lower A-frames were filled with weight pellets) of the 2010 NASCAR rule book.
Crew chief Thomas Tucker, car chief Richard Boga, and team manager Tony Furr were all indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. Tucker was also fined $50,000.
Driver Michael McDowell was penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver’s points, and team owner Dusty Whitney was penalized with the loss of 50 championship owner’s points.
This is the second time this season that the team was penalized. NASCAR found engine valves that were below the mandated weight on the No. 46 car during post-race inspection following the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The team received similar fines and points penalties.
Update: Whitney Motorsports has appealed the penalty issued for violations found during opening day inspection for the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega. The appeal is set to be heard Nov. 9th. In the meantime, the penalty has been deferred.
Team owner Dusty Whitney said:
They said indefinite on some of the suspensions of the team members, so I would just like a little more clarity and make sure it’s fair. … [Suspending] the team manager, it hits hard a little bit on a small team that is struggling to stay alive. We’ve done a good job this year, I think, for NASCAR putting on a show. We’re here to race and not to take NASCAR’s money. We do have to stay inside their box and make sure we do things right.
Update 2: Whitney Motorsports appealed the penalty for infractions found at Talladega. The team acknowledged that the part was illegal, and instead appealed the severity of the penalty. The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel found that the penalties were appropriate for infractions of this magnitude.
As a result, the panel upheld the penalty. Whitney Motorsports to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.