Bowyer’s Chase hopes crushed by NASCAR penalty

Clint Bowyer’s victory at Loudon in the opening Chase race has been effectively wiped out by NASCAR finding that the #33 Chevrolet was guilty of technical infringements.

Bowyer and his team both had 150pts deducted – putting him back down in 12th and last place in the Chase – while crew chief Shane Wilson and car chief Chad Haney have been suspended for the next six races and Wilson also fined $150.000.

The penalty follows a detailed inspection at NASCAR’s Research and Development facility in Concord, North Carolina that followed normal post-race scrutineering at the track. Bowyer’s Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team had been warned the previous week about the car pushing the maximum tolerances to the absolute limit and that they would face a more comprehensive check post-Loudon.

Richard Childress says his team will appeal the penalty, which means that the suspensions and fine will be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal – although the points penalty applies immediately.

“RCR has a long-standing reputation of integrity on and off the race track,” said Childress in a statement. “We pride ourselves on working within the rules established by the sanctioning body.

“NASCAR informed us after the Richmond race that we were very close to their maximum tolerances. They also told us they were going to take our New Hampshire car to the NASCAR Technical Center after that race. It doesn’t make any sense at all that we would send a car to New Hampshire that wasn’t within NASCAR’s tolerances. I am confident we fixed the area of concern and the New Hampshire car left the race shop well within the tolerances required by NASCAR.

We feel certain that the cause of the car being out of tolerance by sixty thousandths of an inch, less than 1/16 of an inch, happened as a result of the wrecker hitting the rear bumper when it pushed the car into winner’s circle. The rear bumper was also hit on the cool down lap by other drivers congratulating Clint on his victory. That’s the only logical way that the left-rear of the car was found to be high at the tech center. We will appeal NASCAR’s ruling and take it all the way to the NASCAR commissioner for a final ruling, if need be.”

Bowyer needed a push by the wrecker back to victory road after the race, after his car ran out of fuel on the cool down lap.


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