Big Penalty For Vickers Red Bull

Red Bull Racing Team’s No. 83 car and driver Brian Vickers lost 150 points each in their respective standings after infractions found in post-race inspection Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

NASCAR ruled that the No. 83, randomly chosen for inspection after an 11th-place finish, had “exterior sheet metal (that) did not meet the specified minimum thickness.”

Crew chief Kevin Hamlin and car chief Craig Smokstad were suspended indefinitely, with Hamlin receiving a $100,000 fine.

“As a team we accept full responsibility for the infractions regarding the No. 83’s Martinsville car and will not appeal NASCAR’s ruling,” said Jay Frye, the team’s general manager and vice president. “This approach to racing is against the values of Red Bull Racing Team, and the necessary steps will be taken to rectify the situation ensuring it does not happen again. It is a privilege to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and we are taking this penalty seriously.”

Research and development director Randy Cox will assume crew chief responsibilities this weekend at Atlanta. Cox served as No. 83 crew chief for the final four races of the 2007 season.

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