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DATE News (chronologically)
07/20/11
nascar
Want to win in NASCAR? Cheat like hell UPDATE NASCAR announced the #7 team that competes in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has been penalized as a result of rules violations committed Saturday, July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. The team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20D-5.9P (the intake manifold ports did not completely seal to the cylinder head ports. The use of metal shim-type intake manifold gaskets is not permitted) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.

The violations were discovered during post-race inspection on July 16. Mike LaRochelle, crew chief of car #7, has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011. Kevin Manion, owner of car #7, has been disqualified from the July 16 New Hampshire race, and has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011. Ryan Newman, driver of car #7, has been disqualified from the July 16 New Hampshire race. NASCAR

[Editor's Note: Well we are not sure if it was as a result of us hammering them on this topic for years, but bravo to NASCAR for finally doing what's right to stop the cheating.  Start disqualifying cars and drivers and watch how all the cheating grinds to a halt.]



07/20/11 [Editor's Note: No one is talking about taking the win away from Ryan Newman if his team did indeed cheat.  Just some fines or a suspension.  So the motto in NASCAR is - if you want to forever have your name in the NASCAR record book as the race winner, cheat like hell because the win will never be taken away from you.  Only in NASCAR......Is this a sport or a three-ring circus?]

Will there or will there not be a penalty for Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman and the Whelen Modified Tour team he drove for in Saturday's F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway?

Newman won the event, his third consecutive Whelen Modified Tour victory at New Hampshire and fourth victory in his last four starts in the division, but after the race NASCAR officials confiscated the Kevin "Bono" Manion owned car Newman drove to victory.

Newman competes for Stewart-Haas Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Manion is the crew chief for Jamie McMurray with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in the Sprint Cup Series.

NASCAR spokesman Jason Christley said Saturday that the car was confiscated to allow NASCAR to make further evaluations concerning restrictor plate and airflow issues with its motor. Newman easily won the pole in Whelen Modified Tour qualifying on Thursday and then ran at or near the front of the field for the entire feature Saturday.

All indications are that a penalty announcement could come on Wednesday. So if it is found that Newman's team blatantly cheated in area as sensitive as has been speculated, what can NASCAR do?

Standard operating procedure in the division would call for a penalty involving taking points away along with a monetary fine and likely probation for the team's crew chief.

So how does that hurt a part-time team not racing for points, and in all reality, not really racing for money either? It doesn't hurt them at all.

It brings up some interesting questions.

Some in the Whelen Modified Tour community have called for a massive fine to be levied against the team, much more than would be faced by one of the division's regular teams, to make a point that those involved in the Sprint Cup Series shouldn't show up at regional touring events with illegal cars.

The problem with that is NASCAR is then setting a really bad a precedent. Teams can't be punished based on what those involved with the team do outside of the Whelen Modified Tour or how big the paychecks are that they earn doing what they do in their "day jobs".

In doing that, NASCAR would essentially be saying that they are now prepared to designate levels of punishment based on the financial standing of a team's owner or driver. That can't be done. You can't have a system where certain teams are fined differently than other teams based on the financial stability of those behind the team.

So what will NASCAR do if it is found that Manion's team blatantly skirted rules involving the motor?

It's really hard to say.

At first blush it would seem a fitting penalty to be suspending Manion as a car owner and Newman as a driver for the remainder of the Whelen Modified Tour season.

The team currently has plans to compete in the Whelen Modified Tour events at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 24 and back at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 24. Manion said Saturday that the team hasn't ruled out possibly racing in the event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Aug. 13, which is part of the track's new IndyCar weekend.

Forcing the team to sit out the remainder of the events they had planned on running this season seems the best alternative. While it might not exactly be a punishment that NASCAR would level on a regular team, it seems the only viable option in this case of offering a punishment that truly is punishing. Courant.com

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