Crew chief Luke Lambert starts his six-week sabbatical effective immediately.
Richard Childress Racing’s effort to have its tire penalties overturn on the No. 31 team were unsuccessful.
RCR presented its case to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Bryan Moss at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. on Wednesday. However, after hearing RCR’s case, Moss upheld the original P5 penalty issued to team owner Richard Childress and the No. 31 team on March 31for altering the tires on Ryan Newman’s Caterpillar Chevy at Auto Club Speedway.
We stand behind our suspended team members and look forward to their return
In addition to the loss of 50 championship driver and owner points and $75,000 fine, Lucas Lambert (crew chief), James Bender (tire technician) and Philip Surgen (race engineer) will commence a six-week suspension. The team members can return for the July race at Daytona International Speedway.
Veteran crew chief Todd Parrott will oversee the team until Lambert's return.
Statement from Final Appeals Officer
NASCAR released the following statement from Moss:
“Based on a preponderance of evidence, the Appellants violated the Rules. Based on a preponderance of evidence, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer upholds the penalty as amended by the National Motorsports Appeal Panel. The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties.”
RCR received some relief after its first appeal. The three-person NMAP reduced the original $125,000 fine to $75,000 and lowered the point reduction from 75 to 50 points.
RCR statement from Richard Childress
"We do not agree with the final appeal ruling. We feel we had a compelling case and still fell we were in the right and the facts presented today would have proved that. We do appreciate the opportunity to be heard.
"We stand behind our suspended team members and look forward to their return. We will now move on and continue or goals of winning races and making the Chase for the Champion."