NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING COMMISSION STATEMENT On August 1, 2006, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Kevin Harvick, Inc. regarding the ...
NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING COMMISSION STATEMENT
On August 1, 2006, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Kevin Harvick, Inc. regarding the #77 Busch car. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following post-race inspection on June 30, 2006 for the NASCAR Busch Series event at Daytona International Speedway.
The infractions concerned Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book "Actions detrimental to stock car racing"; Section 12-4-Q "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules"; and Section 20A-12.3J -- Unapproved shock absorber components; base valves not permitted."
The penalties assessed were:
* Loss of 50 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Delana Harvick.
* Loss of 50 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Driver Points for driver Burney Lamar.
* $15,000.00 fine, suspension from the next six (6) NASCAR Busch Series Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 16, 2006, and probation continuing until December 31, 2006 for crew chief Gene Nead. The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of the suspension pending the Appeal hearing.
The Appellants did not contest the infraction, but appealed the severity of the penalties, arguing that the infraction was an inadvertent mistake and that the violation provided no performance advantage.
In deciding the Appeal, the Commission considered several factors. The Appellants presented a plausible scenario to explain the base valve being in the shock absorber due to a series of miscommunications in their race shop. However, a base plate in the shock absorber is specifically prohibited by the rules in the NASCAR Busch Series.
The Commission notes the crew chief was already on probation, and the car owner and driver had each been penalized 25 championship points earlier in the season, for another rules violation (infraction in the area of the rear spoiler).
The Commission reaffirms that penalties are not predetermined, but are based on the nature, extent and circumstances of specific violations. Similarly, if NASCAR determines that the general range or relative levels of penalties are no longer having the desired effect as a deterrent, infractions are proliferating, and/or a team has had multiple violations, then NASCAR can and should adjust penalty levels accordingly.
The Commission finds that these penalties are consistent with a recent upward adjustment of penalty levels in the NASCAR Busch Series, as well as correct for the nature and circumstances of the infraction.
Therefore it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Commission directs NASCAR to adjust the periods of the suspensions for the crew chief to commence from the date of the hearing. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.
George Silbermann, Chairman