Michael Waltrip teams penalized for wayward windshields

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 25, 2011) – NASCAR has issued penalties to the No. 00, No. 47 and No. 56 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection Oct. 21 at Talladega Superspeedway.

All three cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-3.2.1A (unapproved modification to an approved windshield) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.

Crew chiefs Rodney Childers (No. 00), Frank Kerr (No. 47) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) have each been fined $50,000 and have been suspended from the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and suspended from NASCAR until Nov. 23. Car chiefs Steve Channing (No. 00), Raymond Fox (No. 47) and Anthony Lunders (No. 56) have likewise been suspended from the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and suspended from NASCAR until Nov. 23. Additionally, Bobby Kennedy, director of competition for Michael Waltrip Racing, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Car owners Rob Kauffman (No. 00), Tad Geschickter (No. 47), and Michael Waltrip (No. 56) have each been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points. Drivers David Reutimann (No. 00), Bobby Labonte (No. 47), and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56) have each been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver points.

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UPDATE

JTG Daugherty Racing Statement in Response to Penalties Assessed by NASCAR to the No. 47 team as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection Oct. 21 at Talladega Superspeedway:

“We are very disappointed in this entire situation and we will not appeal NASCAR’s ruling,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty said. “We look forward to racing at Martinsville Speedway this weekend and getting ready for next season.”

Team chief race engineer Brian Burns will assume the role as crew chief for the No. 47 Toyota Camry replacing Frank Kerr and Bob Bechstein has been named car chief replacing Raymond Fox following penalties assessed by NASCAR.

UPDATE #2

STATEMENT FROM MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING:

“Michael Waltrip Racing is ultra-sensitive and very serious about working within the guidelines of NASCAR policy. We do not condone this type of activity and as such we will take appropriate internal corrective action immediately. We thank NASCAR for providing a fair and equitable platform for all of its competitors and respect its decisions; therefore, we will not appeal.”

The following team personnel moves will take effect until NASCAR reinstates the suspended crew members:

No. 56 Team
– Veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will serve as interim crew chief in place of suspended crew chief Chad Johnston at Martinsville
– Allen Mincey, No. 56 race mechanic, will serve as interim car chief in place of suspended car chief Tony Lunders

No. 00 Team
– Bobby Kennedy, executive vice president of race operations, will serve as interim crew chief in place of Rodney Childers
– Chris Hall, No. 00 race mechanic, will serve as interim car chief in place of suspended car chief Steve Channing

Both crew and car chiefs will return to their positions following their suspensions.

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