(photo courtesy Greg Ellman-Pool/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer and the Richard Childress Racing’s #33 Cheerios Chevy team emerged from the smoke and the appeals board, losing the appeals process. That means that both the driver and the owner will be docked 150 points, firmly placing that team at the bottom of the twelve drives in the Chase for the Cup. Additionally, both the crew chief and the car chief will be suspended for the next 6 races, not to mention the $150,000.00 fine for the crew chief of the #33 Cheerios Chevy race team.
The appeal was heard, and the opinion issued Wednesday afternoon by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel. The ruling came after a five-hour deliberation.
Childress said he will appeal further. He will take his appeal to the chief appellate officer, who is John Middlebrook, a former General Motors executive.
The penalties was levied by NASCAR after they found that Bowyer’s car, which won the Chase-opening race at t New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 19th, was found to be 60-thousandths of an inch high in a rear quarter panel.
Though the car passed pre-race and post-race inspections at New Hampshire, it was confiscated and taken to the NASCAR Research and Development Facility in Concord, N.H. There, under more intense scrutiny, the problem was found.
Bowyer and the Childress team had argued that the spec failure was the result of being bumped from behind by other cars after the race and/or when a tow truck pushed the car – which had ran out of fuel during celebratory burnouts after the race – to victory lane.
Childress reportedly brought an expert witness into the appeal process. His name was Dr. Charles Manning and works for Accident Reconstruction Analysis in Raleigh, N.C. Apparently, that was not enough to convince the panel or raise a reasonable doubt.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!