The National Stock Car Racing Commission has issued the following statement: On June 3, 2002, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Fred Wanke, Crew Chief for Team Rensi Motorsports. The appeal pertained to...
The National Stock Car Racing Commission has issued the following statement:
On June 3, 2002, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Fred Wanke, Crew Chief for Team Rensi Motorsports. The appeal pertained to a $20,000 penalty issued by NASCAR when the #25 car was found to have been under the specified minimum roof height at the conclusion of the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division event held at Nazareth Speedway on May 19, 2002.
The Commission finds the following:
The rules violation was clear in light of the fact that both the Appellant and NASCAR confirmed that the car did not meet the minimum roof height requirement specified in Section 20A-12.8.1.A. of the NASCAR Rule Book when measured using the NASCAR measuring device in the standard manner during post-race inspection.
The Appellant made a compelling argument that Team Rensi Motorsports has a good record of adherence to the rules and argued that the infraction was the result of the unintentional failure of a suspension component. The Commission found the Appellant’s arguments to be plausible and believable.
However, the Commission reaffirms its view that the failure of a part on the racecar does not excuse a car that fails to meet specifications, particularly in a closely contested sport where“ equipment failure” might be pre-engineered or caused intentionally in some instances.
The Commission notes that Section 8-7 of the NASCAR Rule Book provides latitude for NASCAR Officials to use discretionary judgment in cases where post-race deficiencies are deemed insubstantial. In this case, the Commission concurs the magnitude of the infraction was substantial enough to warrant a penalty.
The penalty, while serious, is consistent with penalties for similar rules violations.
It is therefore the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalty assessed by NASCAR. The Appellant has the right, under Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book, to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.
Jo Dewitt Wilson
George Silbermann, Chairman