Hendrick Motorsports to appeal NASCAR penalties
Hendrick Motorsports announced that it will appeal the penalties NASCAR issued Tuesday for modifications to hood louvers discovered on all four Hendrick cars last weekend at Phoenix Raceway.
NASCAR issued the following penalties:
- Docked Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and William Byron 100 points and also penalized them 10 playoff points each.
- Suspended crew chiefs Cliff Daniels, Alan Gustafson, Rudy Fugle and Blake Harris four races each. NASCAR also fined each $100,000.
- Penalized each of the four Hendrick team 100 owner points and 10 playoff points.
Hendrick Motorsports stated: “We are disappointed with today’s decision by NASCAR to issue penalties and have elected to appeal based on a variety of facts that include:
- Louvers provided to teams through NASCAR’s mandated single-source supplier do not match the design submitted by the manufacturer and approved by NASCAR
- Documented inconsistent and unclear communication by the sanctioning body specifically related to louvers
- Recent comparable penalties issued by NASCAR have been related to issues discovered during a post-race inspection.”
Hendrick Motorsports stated that NASCAR identified louvers on the four team cars during a voluntary inspection 35 minutes after the opening of the garage on Friday at Phoenix. Hendrick Motorsports stated that “NASCAR took possession of the parts approximately four hours later with no prior communication. The situation had no bearing on Saturday’s qualifying session or Sunday’s race.”
Asked if officials had been tipped to examine the louvers or if it was a random inspection, Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said Tuesday that “It’s a random, if you will. ... This isn’t unchartered waters for NASCAR. It’s been done for years.
“We will continue to do that. As we’re working through this car, we want to make sure that the car is in the box that it needs to be in and we’re officiating and inspecting at the level that we need to.”
Hendrick Motorsports stated that the “organization has made the strategic decision not to request deferral of personnel suspensions.” Interim crew chiefs for each of the four Cup teams will be announced later.