NASCAR Penalizes Michael Waltrip Racing
Following Event At Richmond International Raceway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 9, 2013) – NASCAR has issued penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing following the sanctioning body’s review of Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway.
MWR was found to have violated Section 12-4 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing). As a result, MWR’s three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (No. 15, 55, 56) have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively.
These point penalties are assessed following the season’s 26th regular season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Therefore, the point total for the No. 56 car driven by Martin Truex Jr. is reduced to 691, putting him in 17th position and eliminating him from the second Wild Card berth for the Chase field. Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 car, now moves up into the Chase as the second Wild Card participant.
NASCAR has also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs – Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) – have all been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
“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.”
Bowyer basically does not get any penalty as the penalties are applied pre-seeding for the Chase so Bowyer is still allowed to compete for the Championship.
The monetary fine of $300,000 isn’t all that big considering combined the 3 teams were awarded $337,663 in purse money for this race.
Also the penalty is not for the Spin that caused the caution as NASCAR said there is not enough evidence to determine if that was done on purpose. The penalty is instead for the #15 & #55 cars taking unnecessarily long pitstops which insured that another car (the #22 of Joey Logano which is from the Penske team) would finish ahead of the #15 & #55 cars and thus get into the Chase based on points and not the Wildcard which would allow the #56 (the 3rd MWR car) to get in on the Wildcard instead of Newman.
So yes apparently now you can get penalized for having pitstops that are “too long”.
EDIT: Now based on what was just said in the press conference it’s not so much the fact that they did what they did that got the team in trouble, it’s the fact that it was said over the #55 radio that they needed to pit to help somebody else in points. If they had used code-wording they would not have gotten in trouble.