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NASCAR Cup: teams fined, points docked for manipulation of Homestead-Miami Speedway race

during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR announced on Wednesday penalties to four NASCAR Cup Series teams for their parts in manipulating the finish of the 2019 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17 in a scheme to assist to put the No. 27 Premium Motorsports team in position to claim NASCAR’s bonus for being the highest-finishing non-chartered team in the season-ending owner points standings.

Jay Robinson, owner of the Premium Motorsports No. 15 and No. 27 teams; Rick Ware, owner of the No. 52 Rick Ware Racing team; and T.J. Puchyr, owner of the No. 77 Spire Motorsports team, each were fined $50,000. Each team also was docked 50 owner points.

Competition directors for each team — Scott Eggleston (15, 27 and 77) and Kenneth Evans — were fined $25,000 and suspended indefinitely from NASCAR.

“Following a thorough review of race data and driver/team communication from the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as interviews with several competitors NASCAR has determined that the Nos. 15, 27, 52 and 77 teams have violated Sections 12.8.g and 12.8.1 of the NASCAR rule book, which addresses manipulating the outcome of a race,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said. “As a result, those teams in violation of the rule book have been penalized.”

The No. 15 (Joe Nemechek, driver), No. 77 (Reed Sorenson) and the No. 52 (Josh Bilicki) retired from the Homestead race. Radio communications from respective team personnel made the early exits from the race seem suspicious and motivated by a desire to gain positions on the race track for the No. 27 team to secure a high enough race finishing position to secure the bonus as the highest-finishing unchartered team on the season. The plot looked successful until Wednesday’s penalties, as the No. 27 team finished the year one point ahead of the Gaunt Brothers team after Ross Chastain drove the No. 27 to a 35th-place finish at Homestead.

As a result of the points deductions, the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing team is the new highest-finishing, non-chartered team for 2019.

“Following the season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway, NASCAR assessed a penalty against Spire Motorsports for the actions of an individual who made a judgment call on behalf of our team,” a statement from Spire Motorsports read. “While the ultimate outcome of that decision can be interpreted from different perspectives, we regret any appearance of operating outside the spirit of the rule book. We accept the penalty and will not appeal. We’re proud of all we accomplished with this team in our first season and look forward to getting back to the business of racing at Daytona in February.”

NASCAR had released what was expected to be the final penalty report of 2019 the previous week, but speculation raised by fans on Reddit seemed to prompt NASCAR to investigate the possible manipulation.

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Posted by on November 28, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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