DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR has issued penalties relating to Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway that mean Ryan Newman will replace Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR determined that Michael Waltrip Racing manipulated the outcome of the race to influence who would and would not qualify for the Chase, NASCAR’s 10-race playoff.
Clint Bowyer spun out with seven laps to go, which brought out a caution as Newman was leading the race. Newman finished third, just out of the Chase, while Truex qualified.
MWR was found to have violated Section 12-4 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing). As a result, MWR’s three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Clint Bowyer (No. 15), Brian Vickers (No. 55) and Truex (No. 56) have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively.
These point penalties are assessed following the season’s 26th regular season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Therefore, the point total for Truex Jr. is reduced to 691, putting him in 17th position and eliminating him from the second Wild Card berth for the Chase field. Newman, driver of the No. 39 car, now moves up into the Chase as the second Wild Card participant.
NASCAR has also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs — Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) — have all been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
“Based upon our review of Saturday night’s race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organization attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “As the sport’s sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that.”