SMT: NASCAR statement on appeal by MWSMT

NASCAR Stock Car Racing Commission Statement: On October 1, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered an appeal regarding three penalties issued by NASCAR to the No. 1 car following post-race inspection on September 20,...

NASCAR Stock Car Racing Commission Statement:

On October 1, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered an appeal regarding three penalties issued by NASCAR to the No. 1 car following post-race inspection on September 20, 2008 for the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Martinsville Speedway.

Briefly, the penalties concern Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book "Actions detrimental to stock car racing."; Section 12-4-Q (1): "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 20D-6.1.1B. "Ignition system wires must be continuous from the start connector to the end connector. Splices, bare and punctured wires will not be permitted in the ignition system: Spliced wire from the purple wire out of the ignition amplifier box."

The penalties assessed were:

-For car owner, Philip Smith: Disqualification from the Event. Suspension from the next NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Event. Suspension from NASCAR until October 1, 2008. Probation until December 31, 2008.

-For driver, Burt Myers: Disqualification from the Event. Suspension from the next NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Event. Suspension from NASCAR until October 1, 2008. Probation until December 31, 2008.

-For crew chief, Scott Widener: $1,000 fine. Suspension from the next NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Event. Suspension from NASCAR until October 1, 2008. Probation until December 31, 2008.

The Appellants requested and were granted a deferral of the penalties until the appeal hearing could be convened.

The Appellants acknowledged that the splice did not conform to the Rule Book, but argued that the infraction was inadvertent and did not constitute a competitive advantage. They further agued that the spliced-in wire was simply used to power lights on the dashboard. They argued that no traction control devices had been found. They argued that the car had been through numerous prior inspections in the same configuration and that the penalties were too severe for the infraction. Additionally, the crew chief disavowed any knowledge of the wiring of the car and stated that he was simply an unpaid volunteer.

In determining the appeal, the Commission considered several factors:

-According to testimony, the purple wire out of the ignition amplifier box is normally a signal wire which controls ignition, not a wire with voltage sufficient for powering dashboard lights.

-If an actual traction control device had been found, much stronger penalties would have been warranted.

-Parts, modifications. etc. are not considered approved by reason of having passed through one or more inspections unobserved or undetected.

-The crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of the team.

In this case the infraction was evident, of a very serious nature, and the penalties were deemed appropriate. 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 the appeal hearing.

The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.

Leo Mehl
Kevin Whitaker
George Silbermann, Chairman

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Burt Myers