CHARLOTTE: NASCAR announced at the R&D Center penalties against Michael Waltrip Racing. These penalties are stemming from the final few laps in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond.
What NASCAR investigated was the final caution and the few laps in which Clint Bowyer spun off turn 4, and also Brian Vickers pitting just before the green flag on the final restart. NASCAR determined based on video evidence, audio from the teams, and interviews, that these moves were predetermined to assist in getting the third MWR driver, Martin Truex Jr, into the Chase via the Wild Card position.
“Based upon our review of Saturday night’s race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organization attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “As the sport’s sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that.”
Here are the penalties that were announced:
- Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers, and Martin Truex Jr. penalized 50 driver points each. Team owner Michael Waltrip also loses 50 owner’s points from each driver. These penalties were assessed prior to the Chase seeding, thus moving Truex Jr. to 17th in the standings with 691 points. This eliminates Truex Jr. from the Wild Card position, and has moved Ryan Newman into the second Wild Card spot, placing him in the Chase in the 12th position.
- The Michael Waltrip Racing organization is fined $300,000, plus Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 MWR team is indefinitely suspended from NASCAR competition.
- All three crew chiefs for MWR, Brian Pattie (Bowyer), Scott Miller (Vickers), Chad Johnson (Truex Jr.) have been placed on probation until December 31.
“This naturally is a very significant reaction from NASCAR. As multiple car owners have become a very positive integral part of our support, also comes with it, though, responsibility from NASCAR and as well the car owners, to maintain a fair and level playing field,” said Mike Helton, President of NASCAR.
Michael Waltrip Racing in a statement said that they accept the penalties and will move forward.