Earnhardt Jr., DEI Penalized For Incident at Bristol

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 31, 2004) -- Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized with a loss of 25 championship driver points, a $10,000 fine and probation until June 1 for his actions during Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, NASCAR officials announced today.

The penalty also will extend to the team as Dale Earnhardt Inc. will lose 25 championship owner points for the actions of its driver.

Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet, was penalized for intentionally causing a caution condition during the race and as a result was in violation of Section 12-4-A (Actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-N (Any driver who, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, intentionally causes or attempts to cause a caution condition by stopping or spinning out or any other action) of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book.

"The driver of the No. 8 car was quite vocal in admitting he intentionally spun out his car to cause a caution condition on the track, which is clearly prohibited in the NASCAR Rule Book," NASCAR President Mike Helton said." We have several rules in our Rule Book that have been in place for quite some time to prevent someone from altering the outcome of an event. This was a clear-cut case of that. Actions such as this will not be tolerated. We will always react to protect the integrity of our sport."

Earnhardt Jr.'s championship points total will be adjusted to 832 points as a result of the penalty, but he will still maintain third in the championship standings. DEI also will be adjusted to 832 points with the 25-point penalty and remain third in the owners' championship standings.