DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2000) NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Kevin Hamlin was fined $2,000 by NASCAR officials Thursday afternoon for rules violations discovered in inspection prior to last Sunday's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2000) NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Kevin Hamlin was fined $2,000 by NASCAR officials Thursday afternoon for rules violations discovered in inspection prior to last Sunday's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway in Fontana. Hamlin, crew chief of the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt and fielded by Richard Childress Racing, was penalized under Section 12-4-Q in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform ... or have not been approved by NASCAR ..."
Apparently, for the second straight race, the No. 3 Chevrolet's rear bodywork around the bumper area was not dimensionally correct according to NASCAR's body templates.
Prior to Bud Pole Qualifying for the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 14, a similar discrepancy was discovered and the team was forced to make extensive modifications to the car's tail before Earnhardt qualified fourth. He finished third there.
At California, Earnhardt qualified 35th and finished 17th in the race.
He heads into Saturday night's Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway in fifth in the standings. Penske-Kranefuss Racing crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who is already under suspension from NASCAR competition until June 6, was hit with an additional $25,000 fine Thursday afternoon by NASCAR officials for rules violations found in post-race inspection following Sunday's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway in Fontana.
Sospenzo, crew chief for the No. 12 Mobil 1 Ford Taurus driven by Jeremy Mayfield, was penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "... any car found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials or the race ..."
After Mayfield won the NAPA Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, April 30 the roof height of his car was discovered to be under the 51" minimum in the post-race inspection. The car was impounded and returned to North Carolina for further inspection.
The sanction was the second delivered to the team this week for a violation in its second straight race.
Following the post-race inspection at the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 16, a fuel sample taken from Mayfield's car following the race was found to contain an additive. After a thorough investigation, NASCAR announced its penalties on Tuesday, May 2.
Team owner Michael Kranefuss was fined $50,000 and 151 NASCAR Winston Cup car owner points, Sospenzo was suspended from NASCAR competition through June 6 and Mayfield was fined 151 NASCAR Winston Cup driver points.
The sanctions dropped Mayfield from seventh to 14th in NWC driver points and Kranefuss from seventh to 14th in the owner standings.
The team plans to be in Richmond, Va., on Friday to open practice for Saturday night's Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway.