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DATE News (chronologically)
09/20/07
nascar
NASCAR cheaters appeal denied  On September 18, 2007, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Robert Yates Racing. 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”; Section 20A-12.3C (3): Divider pistons in both front shock absorbers were not installed to the manufacturer’s specifications”, and Section 12A-12.3l: “Oil volume did not meet the minimum one (1) inch specification”.

The penalties assessed were:

  • Loss of 25 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Robert Yates.
  • Loss of 25 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Driver Points for driver Stephen Leicht.
  • $10,000.00 fine for crew chief Charles Barraclough.

In deciding the Appeal, the Commission considered several factors:

  • Although the divider piston positioning was similar in both front shock absorbers, the oil volume measurements differed.
  • A similar circumstance of a divider piston “dropping” in an excessively hot shock during post-race inspection has not otherwise occurred in the NASCAR Busch Series, even on other road courses or circuits that are notoriously tough on brakes.
  • None of the other cars inspected following the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve experienced a similar condition.
  • Both shocks passed other post-race inspection procedures including compression testing and parts verification.
  • The inspection procedure at that time did not call for retention of the oil volume. Nonetheless, the Appellants presented a compelling argument that excessive heat in the shocks from being adjacent to the front brakes may have affected divider piston positioning when gas pressure in the shock was released during post-race inspection, as well as a corresponding movement of the oil column.
  • While this provided a plausible explanation of the measured divider piston placement and corresponding oil volume in the left front shock, it did not satisfactorily explain the infraction in the right front shock.

NASCAR officials testified that fines for shock infractions of this nature are generally assessed at $5,000 per shock. Therefore, it is the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission to amend the original penalties assessed by NASCAR to the following:

  • Loss of 25 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Car Owner Points for car owner Robert Yates.
  • Loss of 25 NASCAR Busch Series Championship Driver Points for driver Stephen Leicht.
  • $5,000.00 fine for crew chief Charles Barraclough.

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

Buddy Baker
Bud Moore
George Silbermann, Chairman

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