Truex Penalties Upheld

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On July 21, 2008, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Dale Earnhardt Inc. regarding the No. 1 car. The appeal concerned four penalties issued by NASCAR stemming from opening day inspection on July 3, 2008 at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Daytona International Speedway.

The penalties concern Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing”; Section 12-4-Q: “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the car, car parts, components, and/or equipment used in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules” and Section 20-3.8A: “Roof of the car does not conform to the specifications of the NASCAR Rule Book.”

The penalties assessed were:

• Loss of 150 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Teresa Earnhardt.

• Loss of 150 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver Points for driver Martin Truex, Jr.

• $100,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 27, 2008, and probation until December 31, 2008 for crew chief Kevin Manion.

• Suspension from NASCAR for the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 27, 2008, and probation until December 31, 2008 for team member Gary Putnam.

The Appellants had requested and were granted a deferral of the suspension and fine penalties until this hearing could be convened.

The Appellants did not contest the rules violations, but argued that the penalties were too severe for the infractions. The Appellants explained that rigorous checks and balances in the fabrication process were in place at DEI and could offer no explanation as to why the roof failed to meet the inspection templates. They argued that the infractions were minor in nature, not deliberate, and that the resulting lowered roof was a disadvantage according to their wind tunnel findings.

The Commission found that the infractions were clear-cut. The roof was low across a broad area. Accordingly, the penalties that were issued are warranted.

Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The periods of the suspensions are to be adjusted from the date of this hearing.

The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner.

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