NASCAR announced that it has penalized three Sprint Cup Series teams for infractions found during opening day inspection at Talladega Superspeedway. Michael Waltrip Racing’s Nos. 00 and 56 were penalized. JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 47, a MWR-affiliated team, was also penalized.
All three cars were 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 detailed in Section 20 of the rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-3.2.1A (unapproved modification to an approved windshield) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.
Crew chiefs Rodney Childers (No. 00), Frank Kerr (No. 47) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) were each fined $50,000 and suspended for the next four Sprint Cup events. They were also suspended from NASCAR until Nov. 23rd.
Car chiefs Steve Channing (No. 00), Raymond Fox (No. 47) and Anthony Lunders (No. 56) also received the same suspensions. And, MWR director of competition, Bobby Kennedy, has been placed on probation until the end of the calendar year.
The car owners, Rob Kauffman (No. 00), Tad Geschickter (No. 47), and Michael Waltrip (No. 56), have each been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points. Drivers David Reutimann (No. 00), Bobby Labonte (No. 47), and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56) have each been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver points.
JTG Daugherty owner Brad Daugherty said:
We are very disappointed in this entire situation and we will not appeal NASCAR’s ruling. We look forward to racing at Martinsville Speedway this weekend and getting ready for next season.
Team chief race engineer Brian Burns will assume the role as crew chief for the No. 47 Toyota Camry replacing Kerr and Bob Bechstein has been named car chief replacing Fox following the penalties.
MWR also commented on the penalties:
Michael Waltrip Racing is ultra-sensitive and very serious about working within the guidelines of NASCAR policy. We do not condone this type of activity and as such we will take appropriate internal corrective action immediately. We thank NASCAR for providing a fair and equitable platform for all of its competitors and respect its decisions; therefore, we will not appeal.
Pat Tryson will take over for Johnston as crew chief for the no. 56 team. Tryson was recently replaced on that team earlier this year.
Allen Mincey, race mechanic of the No. 56, will serve as interim car chief for that team in place of Lunders. Bobby Kennedy will serve as interim crew chief in place of Childers on the No. 00. Chris Hall, race mechanic with the No. 00 , will serve as interim car chief for that team in place of Channing.