Commission denies Fitz Motorsports' appeal
The National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Fitz Motorsports. The appeal concerned three penalties issued by NASCAR following post-race inspection on August 4, 2007 for the NASCAR Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
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 20A-12.1A(2) “Front spring inside and outside coil diameter exceeded the 1/8 inch limit.”
The penalties assessed were:
• Loss of 25 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Armando Fitz.
• Loss of 25 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Driver Points for driver Patrick Carpentier.
• $5,000.00 fine for crew chief Paul Wolfe.
The Appellants contended that the infraction may have resulted from two off-course excursions by the racecar during the race, and that any resulting coil-binding effects from a deflected spring would not be a benefit on a road course.
In deciding the Appeal, the Commission considered several factors:
• There was no indication that the infraction was intentional or premeditated. Rather, the evidence suggested that a component with a number of existing service cycles may not have held up to the rigors of the race.
• Fitz Motorsports does not have a history of rules violations in this series.
• Race contact damage could not be directly attributed as a factor in this case. The Commission notes that front-running cars, such as the Appellant’s, were frequently impacting raised curbing at several locations around the road course each lap.
• Ultimately, the spring did not meet specifications in the Rule Book and the penalty assessed by NASCAR was consistent with penalties for similar violations in this series.
Therefore, it is the unanimous 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.