National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Statement
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2012) – The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of the No. 27 Richard Childress NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.
The penalties concern Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; Section 12-4K: If, in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, race equipment that has been previously certified or previously approved by NASCAR for use in an event, pursuant to sub-section 8-12, has been altered, modified, repaired or changed in any matter. Intentionally modifying previously certified frame rails for the purpose of deceiving NASCAR’s inspection gauges.
The penalties stemmed from a post-race inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center on Aug. 21 following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 19.
The original penalties assessed were:
• Car owner (Richard Childress): Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship car owner points;
•· Car driver (Paul Menard): Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driver points;
•· Crew chief (Richard Labbe): $100,000 fine; suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;
•· Car chief (Craig Smokstad): Suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;
•· Crew member (Grant Hutchens): Suspended from NASCAR for six weeks; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
The Appellant did not appeal the loss of 25 championship car owner and 25 championship driver points or the $100,000 fine and six-week suspension of crew chief Richard Labbe, who began serving his suspension from NASCAR Sept. 4. The Appellant did appeal the six-week suspensions of Craig Smokstad and Grant Hutchens.
The Appellant acknowledged that the No. 27 car failed post-race inspection.
Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. Therefore, both Smokstad and Hutchens’ six-week suspensions from NASCAR will be effective immediately.
The Appellant has the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.
Jason Cohen – Appellate Administrator and non-voting member