NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING COMMISSION STATEMENT: On March 9, 2009, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of RAB Racing regarding the ...
NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING COMMISSION STATEMENT:
On March 9, 2009, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of RAB Racing regarding the #09 NASCAR Nationwide Series car. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR stemming from opening day inspection on February 10, 2009 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona International Speedway.
The infractions concerned 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-18.A.: "Roll bars must be made from round magnetic steel seamless tubing 1-3/4 inches by 0.090 inch minimum wall thickness meeting ASTM A-519 specification. Once constructed and installed, the roll cage must be acceptable to NASCAR Officials: Main roll bar #1 was not round; was altered for clearance."
The penalties assessed were:
-A loss of 100 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Car Owner Points for owner, Jay Robinson
-A loss of 100 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Driver Points for driver, John Wes Townley
-A $15,000 fine and probation until December 31, 2009 for crew chief Blake Bainbridge.
The Appellants argued that the modifications to the roll cage did not violate NASCAR rules in that the tubing was originally round.
The Appellants argued that the modifications did not represent an intentional effort on their part to circumvent the rules, rather that the chassis had been purchased from a third party and had been modified at some time in the past to allow for bodywork clearance. They further pointed out that no effort had been made on their part to conceal the modifications during the inspection process. They also argued that the penalty was excessive in light of these circumstances.
The Commission found the Appellants' explanation of the sequence of events regarding the modifications to the roll bar to be both plausible and believable. Ultimately, however, the team presenting the car for inspection is responsible for that car's adherence to the rules.
Since the modifications may have affected the integrity of the roll cage, an excessive penalty was warranted in this case.
Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.
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