|NASCAR hammers the cheaters|
NASCAR competition officials issued significant penalties Wednesday to Premium Motorsports, Rick Ware Racing and Spire Motorsports for manipulating the results of the season-ending Monster Energy Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, said that four teams were docked 50 points from the 2019 team owner standings for their role in altering the finishing order of the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Nov. 17. Suspensions and fines were also included in the punishment.
“Following a thorough review of race data and driver/team communication from the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as interviews with several competitors, NASCAR has determined that the Nos. 15, 27, 52 and 77 teams have violated Sections 12.8.g and 12.8.1 of the NASCAR rule book, which addresses manipulating the outcome of a race," Miller said in a statement. “As a result, those teams in violation of the rule book have been penalized as listed in the penalty report."
The report lists indefinite suspensions for Scott Eggleston, competition director for Premium Motorsports, and Kenneth Evans, who holds the same role with Rick Ware Racing. Both were fined $25,000.
Team owners Rick Ware, Jay Robinson of Premium, and T.J. Puchyr of Spire were all fined $50,000. All four teams had 50 points deducted from their totals in the final team owner standings.
Here’s how the Miami race was impacted:
Joe Nemechek, driving the No. 15 car for Premium Motorsports, finished 38th. He completed 227 of the 267 laps. The reason listed for not finishing was steering.
Reed Sorenson, driving the No. 77 car for Spire Motorsports, finished 37th. He completed 236 laps. The reason listed for not finishing was brakes.
Josh Bilicki, driving the No. 52 car for Rick Ware Racing, finished 36th. He completed 240 laps. The reason listed for not finishing was brakes.
Ross Chastain, driving the No. 27 car, finished 35th, the last car running at the end. He completed 242 of 267 laps.
Spire Motorsports Statement Regarding NASCAR Penalty
The following is a statement from Spire Motorsports Co-Owners T.J. Puchyr and Jeff Dickerson regarding the penalty assessed to the team following the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway:
“Following the season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway, NASCAR assessed a penalty against Spire Motorsports for the actions of an individual who made a judgment call on behalf of our team. While the ultimate outcome of that decision can be interpreted from different perspectives, we regret any appearance of operating outside the spirit of the rule book. We accept the penalty and will not appeal. We’re proud of all we accomplished with this team in our first season and look forward to getting back to the business of racing at Daytona in February."