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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Just one more day...

NASCAR tires
NASCAR tires (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We only have to wait one more day before we learn the results of the Richard Childress Racing appeal following NASCAR's heavy-handed penalties for tire tampering against Ryan Newman and the #31 team.

The team was accused of altering their tires, possibly with one or more minuscule holes in the tires in an effort to bleed off some of the pressure that naturally builds up during long racing runs. 

Huge penalties and fines were levied against the team following the California race held March 22. Crew Chief Luke Lambert was fined $125,000, and was suspended for six races, including the All Star Race next month. Also suspended were Tire Technician James Bender and Engineer Philip Surgen. The three would be on probation for the rest of 2015. Both owner Richard Childress and driver Ryan Newman were docked 75 points each.

The penalty hit Newman hard, dropping him from sixth in the points standings to 26th. 

NASCAR has been confiscating tires from various teams, but the #31 team was the only one penalized.

According to NASCAR, the violations included three infractions of its rule book.
  • 12.1 - Actions detrimental to stock car racing
  • 20.16 Any device, modification, or procedure to the tire or wheel, including the valve stem hardware, that is used to release pressure, beyond normal pressure adjustments from the tire and/or inner shield, will not be permitted.
  • 20.16.2 Modifications to the tires, by treatment or any other means, will not be permitted.
These infractions are considered very serious by NASCAR. On a scale of 1 to 6, this violation ranks fifth. 

An appeal will be held Thursday. NASCAR complied with RCR's request to defer suspensions, (but not points), pending the outcome of the appeal. If RCR wins the appeal, the points would be reinstated or they could possibly be reduced.

"We feel confident we have a very compelling case to present to the appeals panel," Childress said in a press release. "We strongly believe in the intent of the rules and integrity of our own teams while following those same rules." 

Childress was mum however on any further explanation in an effort to "respect the appeals process."

NASCAR has also said nothing more, which makes it difficult to know just what the case is against the #31 team.