NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING COMMISSION STATEMENT: On April 20, 2009, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Benny Gordon Racing regarding the ...
NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING COMMISSION STATEMENT:
On April 20, 2009, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Benny Gordon Racing regarding the #72 NASCAR Nationwide Series car. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR stemming from pre-qualifying inspection on March 21, 2009 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book "Actions detrimental to stock car racing," Section 12-4-I "Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules," and Section 20A-15 "NASCAR reserves the right to have all cars use the same brand of fuel in a given Event. When this right is exercised, it will be stated on the Official Entry Blank or in other NASCAR bulletins for that Event, and the specific brand of fuel will be named the "Official Fuel." In all such cases, fuel used for practice, qualifying, and the race itself will be supplied at the track by the "Official Fuel" supplier and must be used exactly as supplied by the "Official Fuel" supplier's dispensing equipment at the track. At an Event where an "Official Fuel" has been named, NASCAR Officials will use a sample of the actual fuel provided at the track by the fuel supplier to determine whether the fuel used by a Competitor conforms to the specification in the Rule Book" and Section 20A-15.2C.: "The gasoline must not be blended with alcohols, ethers or other oxygenates, and it must not be blended with aniline or its derivatives, nitro compounds or other nitrogen containing compounds."
The penalties assessed were:
-A loss of 50 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points for owner, Frank Varischetti.
-A loss of 50 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver, Benny Gordon.
-A $10,000 fine, suspension from the next four (4) NASCAR Nationwide Series Events; suspension from NASCAR until April 29, 2009, and probation until December 31, 2009 for crew chief Andrew Punch.
The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of the fine and suspension penalties until such time as this hearing could be convened.
The Appellants argued that sometime prior to the Event they had purchased a supply of Sunoco fuel for testing purposes from a third-party vendor which, unbeknownst to them, contained oxygenates. Fuel from this supply was then re-introduced into the racecar at Bristol when they "topped off" the car using a dumpcan from their hauler just prior to qualifying.
The Commission found that the fuel did not meet specifications and that the penalties already factored in any mitigating circumstances.
Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The periods of suspension shall be adjusted from the date of this 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