NASCAR Weekly cheating report - 2 NASCAR has suspended Braun Racing crew chiefs Trip Bruce and Stewart Cooper as well as their tire specialists for two races and penalized drivers Jason Leffler and Tayler Malsam 25 points each after tires allocated to Leffler were used by Malsam during the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Nashville Superspeedway.
Bruce, crew chief of Leffler’s No. 38 car, and Cooper, crew chief of Malsam’s No. 10 car, were fined $25,000 apiece. The teams also were docked 25 points in the owner standings.
Teams in the Nationwide Series are allowed only a certain number of sets of tires for a race weekend and an organization cannot transfer tires among its teams without approval.
The teams were penalized not only for moving tires from one team to another but also for identification numbers that had been changed on previously approved tires, according to the NASCAR news release Wednesday.
The tire specialists suspended were Sean Whisenhunt (No. 10 team) and Kevin Bellicourt (No. 38 team).
The team has not yet decided whether to appeal the penalty.
“Though we feel the penalties levied against Braun Racing for infractions at Nashville Superspeedway against the No. 38 and No. 10 teams are harsh under the circumstances, we understand NASCAR’s need to be consistent in making sure teams adhere to the rulebook in order to promote a level playing field,” team owner Todd Braun said in a statement.
“This situation is the result of miscommunication between team personnel and we will need to further evaluate the circumstances and work to improve our procedures to ensure this does not happen again.”
Leffler will drop one spot in the driver standings, from seventh into a tie for eighth, and is now 755 points behind series points leader Brad Keselowski. Malsam was competing in his first event with the team.
In the owner standings, the No. 10 team will drop from 12th to 13th in the standings while the No. 38 team will remain 19th. Scenedaily.com
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