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No. 17 Team Penalties Upheld by Commission
On March 5, 2007, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Roush Fenway Racing regarding the No. 17 car. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following post-qualifying inspection on February 11, 2007 for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series event at Daytona International Speedway. The infractions concerned 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 20-2.1E “Unapproved aerodynamic modification.”

The penalties assessed were:
  • Loss of 50 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Jack Roush.
  • Loss of 50 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship Driver Points for driver Matt Kenseth.
  • $50,000.00 fine; suspension from NASCAR for the next four (4) NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until March 21, 2007 (not including testing) for crew chief Robbie Reiser.

The Appellants did not contest the legality of the violations, nor appeal the suspensions, but appealed the severity of the fine and the points penalties. The Appellants presented an argument that a “ratcheting up” of penalties was not warranted in light of the recent record of penalties, and that lesser penalties had been previously issued to other teams for more egregious violations.

In deciding the Appeal, the Commission considered several factors:

  • Roush Fenway Racing does not have a history of multiple rules violations.
  • These infractions were premeditated and intentional. They constituted serious violations.

In the judgment of the Commission, the penalties assessed are severe by the standards of a year or more ago. However, Commission members were advised that NASCAR executives had announced to contestants at a driver briefing in mid-2006 that the previous “benchmark” penalty standards for many serious violations would likely be increased going forward. Subsequent to that, two 50-point penalties were assessed during the 2006 season. Therefore, by a majority vote, it is the decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commissioner. NASCAR PR

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