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NASCAR slams Toyota truck team UPDATE #2 Bill Davis Racing has released the following statement in regards to the penalties for their No. 23 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team driven by Johnny Benson. “We agree with the penalties NASCAR has issued to the 23 team and we will deal with them accordingly,” said Bill Davis.  “NASCAR has rules and policies in place to keep the drivers and crew members safe and we appreciate their vigilance in this instance.”  In Trip Bruce’s absence, truck chief Billy Hagerthey will assume the role of crew chief.  BDR PR

05/12/07 Team owner Bill Davis appeared none too pleased with his Truck series driver, Johnny Benson, who allowed a friend to take some laps in his No. 23 Toyota Thursday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The real trouble started when the non-licensed driver wrecked.

NASCAR officials ejected the team from the test when they learned it was not Benson in the truck. The driver and team were also barred from Friday’s test at the Charlotte track.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” Davis said. “I didn’t even know his name. I had no earthly idea that he was driving the truck. I guess he’s a friend of Johnny’s, Johnny’s mentor.

"None of our people knew about it. I mean, obviously, the crew chief and those guys did. Nobody in management knew anything about it.”

NASCAR officials said the unlicensed driver was Mike Lichty.

Benson was ordered to come to Darlington for a meeting on Friday with Davis, NASCAR president Mike Helton and Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition. The team faces additional penalties.

“Oh, I think there will be some repercussions, certainly,” Davis said. “That’s about against the rules as anything I’ve seen happen.” ThatsRacin.com

05/11/07 Bill Davis Racing’s No. 23 Toyota NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team was thrown out of a test session Thursday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., for using an unlicensed driver.

NASCAR spokesman Josh Hamilton confirmed that BDR’s No. 23 team was ejected from the speedway Thursday night and that the team - and regular driver Johnny Benson - would not be allowed to take part in Friday’s test session.

The team is likely to face additional penalties from NASCAR for the infraction. Any such penalties will likely be announced next week. BDR officials could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

"NASCAR has certain guidelines for drivers who participate in races and test sessions, and the No. 23 team went outside those guidelines,” Hamilton said. zzzz

NASCAR officials refused to identify the driver in the truck. He was discovered when late in Thursday night’s session, the No. 23 spun off Turn 2 and wrecked, demolishing the truck. Several witnesses noticed it was not Benson that was taken to the infield care center.

“This is an official NASCAR test, under their supervision and guidance, and we defer to their jurisdiction in handling the matter,” said Jerry Gappens, the speedway’s senior vice president.

“NASCAR took immediate action and ejected the No. 23 team from the test. Obviously, this team violated the guidelines NASCAR has in place and will face the consequences associated with its actions.” ThatsRacin.com

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