“As a result of these violations, crew chief Darian Grubb has been fined $75,000 plus an additional $50,000 post-race fine for a total of $125,000. Grubb has also been suspended from NASCAR for the next six series championship events, plus any non-championship races or special events that might occur during that time period. Grubb will also be on NASCAR probation for the next six months.”
“Car chief Wesley Sherrill has been suspended from NASCAR for the next six series championship events, plus any non-championship races or special events that might occur during that time period and will be on NASCAR probation for the next six months.”
“This infraction has also cost the No. 11 team the loss of 50 championship driver and owner (Denny Hamlin and J.D. Gibbs) points plus an additional 25 post-race points for a total loss of 75 championship driver and 75 championship owner points.”
Later, that same day, the race team issued the following statement:
“Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is aware of the penalty issued by NASCAR today regarding the #11 team’s post-race inspection infraction followingSunday’s Sprint Cup Series race in Indianapolis. JGR will plan to appeal the penalty, however, crew chief Darian Grubb and car chief Wesley Sherrill will begin to serve their suspensions starting this weekend in Pocono.”
The JGR statement has raised more than a few eyebrows. Many are already wondering why they would appeal the monetary value, and the loss of points, but allow their crew chief and car chief to immediately begin their suspensions.
Actually this move is rather brilliant. It’s also a reflection of team owner Joe Gibbs, and team President J D Gibb’s, well known ability to remain calm in the face of adversity.
Their willingness to allow Darian Grubb and Wesley Sherrill to immediately begin their suspensions means they will be eligible to return to their respective duties in time for the race at the Chicagoland Speedway on September 14th. That particular event is, of course, race number one of the ten race series for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Chase For The Championship. Despite the loss of 75 championship driver points, this team is virtually guaranteed a starting berth in the Chase line up based on Hamlin’s win at Talladega last May.
If JGR would have included both men in their official appeals process the effect could have been potentially devastating. If the Appeals Board ruled against JGR, the time consuming process of the procedure would have meant that Grubb and Sherrill would have missed the majority of the Chase events at a point in time when their services would be seriously needed.
That’s why excluding these two men from the appeals process is such a brilliant move.