By AMANDA VINCENT
On Wednesday, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss heard the appeal brought forth by the Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team regarding penalties issued by NASCAR for tire tampering during the March race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
After some nine hours of testimony and deliberation, Moss upheld the penalties decided on by the three-member National Motorsports Appeals Panel on April 16.
According to a release from NASCAR, Moss’ decisions included:
– Based on a preponderance of evidence, the Appellants violated the Rules.
– Based on a preponderance of evidence, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer upholds the penalty as amended by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.
Those penalties included the loss of 50 championship car owner points for Richard Childress and 50 championship driver points for Ryan Newman, a $75,000 fine and six-race suspensions for crew chief Luke Lambert, tire technician James Bender and race engineer Philip Surgen.
The Appeals Panel decreased penalties originally issued by NASCAR. In addition to the six-race suspensions for Lambert, Bender and Surgen, NASCAR docked Childress and Newman 75 points apiece and issued a $125,000 penalty.
After the the findings were announced, Richard Childress Racing released the following statement, insisting its innocence:
“We do not agree with the final appeal ruling. We feel we had a compelling case and still fell we were in the right and the facts presented today would have proved that. We do appreciate the opportunity to be heard.
“We stand behind our suspended team members and look forward to their return. We will now move on and continue our goals of winning races and making the Chase for the championship.”
Todd Parrott has been named interim crew chief on the No. 31 team in Lambert’s absence.
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