Fines and points penalties have been reduced, but the suspensions of all three RCR team members remain at six races.
After an eight hour hearing, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel (made up of John Capels, Hunter Nickell, Dale Pinilis) has made the decision to alter the penalties handed down to Richard Childress Racing, by NASCAR. The punishment remains at the P5 level, but has been reduced in two areas. The panel maintains that RCR is guilty of purposely tire manipulation
The original penalty assessed included a $125,000 fine, a six-race suspension and probation through the end of the year for Lucas Lambert (crew chief), James Bender (tire technician) and Philip Surgen (race engineer), and the loss of 75 championship car and owner points.
According to an official release, "The Panel amends the original Penalty levied by NASCAR because there is no written explanation of what constitutes a post-race inspection. Therefore the Penalty elements added under Section 184.108.40.206.3. are removed and the Penalty adjusted."
The points deduction has gone from 75 championship points to 50 and the fine dropped from $125,000 to $75,000. The suspensions of all three individuals listed above remain at six races.
RCR now has the option to appeal further to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer.
Infraction, via the NASCAR rule book
12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
20.16: Wheels and tires
A. Any device, modification, or procedure to the tire or wheel, including the valve stem hardware, that is used to release pressure, beyond normal pressure adjustments, from the tire and/or inner shield, will not be permitted.
F. Modifications to the tires, by treatment or any other means, will not be permitted.