The National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld NASCAR’s penalty issued against Michael Waltrip Racing and driver Clint Bowyer. The penalty was a result from infractions found during pre-qualifying inspection two weekends ago at Chicagoland Speedway, prior to the opening of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR claimed the #15 team had parts not properly installed on its MWR Toyota during the inspection session at Chicagoland. NASCAR made the decision that the truck arms on the car, which are not to be adjustable, were flexible.
Bowyer was docked 25 points, immediately following NASCAR’s decision, dropping him to last in the 16 driver Chase Challenger Round field. Billy Scott, crew chief for the #15 Toyota received a three-race suspension, which was deferred through the appeal process, will take effect immediately.
In addition to his three race suspension, Scott was fined $75,000 and placed on probation for six months. MWR has denied any wrongdoing since the penalty was announced.
With one race remaining in the Challenger Round of 16 for the Chase with four drivers being eliminated after this weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway, Bowyer will need a victory on Sunday to ensure his position in the Chase. Currently Bowyer is 81 points put of the lead and 39 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is the driver currently in 12th position to advance in the Contender Round of 12.
Following is the full statement issued by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel on Wednesday:
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P4 penalty issued on Sept. 23 to Rob Kauffman (owner), Clint Bowyer (driver), and Billy W. Scott (crew chief) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #15 at Chicagoland Speedway.
The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1, 20.14c, 220.127.116.11.k, 18.104.22.168.d, 22.214.171.124.1.d&f, 126.96.36.199.2.
The original penalty assessed included a $75,000 fine, three-race suspension and six months’ probation for Scott and loss of 25 championship car owner and 25 championship driver points to both Kauffman and Bowyer.
Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
- The Appellants violated the Rule or Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice.
- That the Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty assessed by NASCAR.
The panel consisted of the following three individuals:
Mr. Paul Brooks
Mr. Bill Lester
Mr. Bill Mullis
The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book as the Expedited Final Appeal. The deadline for filing is 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 30.