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National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Statement on HMS penalties

By admin | March 13, 2012



On March 13, 2012, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.


The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing;” Section 12-4(J): “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event;” and Section 20-2.1(E): “If in the judgment of NASCAR Officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted: Unapproved car body modifications.”

This stemmed from an opening day inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012.

The original penalties assessed prior to the deferral were:

- Car Owner (Jeffrey M. Gordon) – Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points;

- Car Driver (Jimmie K. Johnson) – Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points;

- Crew Chief (Chad A. Knaus) - $100,000.00 fine. Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.

- Car Chief (Ron P. Malec) - Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.


Upon hearing the testimony, carefully reviewing the facts and historically comparative penalties, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.


The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.


John Capels

Leo Mehl

Dale Pinilis

Ed Bennett - Appellate Administrator and non-voting member

Topics: Articles |

3 Responses to “National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Statement on HMS penalties”

  1. Charles Says:
    March 13th, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Now here is a interesting fact, that Jenna Fryer had on the Johnson and Hendrick penalties and upcoming final appeal yesterday ..everyone should google and read her column! You need to read it though..

    But here the sum of it!

    The next and final step is for Hendrick to appeal to John Middlebrook, a 49 year former G.M. executive whose background is sales and marketing for G.M..

    Middlebrook retired in 2008, Hendrick states in her column he known Middlebrook for 20 years, and Hendrick even was so close to Middlebrook that he was one of six people to make speech at his retirement ceromony!

    Now talk about a ‘conflict of interest” and having the ‘Fox in the Henhouse” here Hendrick is appealing to someone who he has had a close business association..because Hendrick is one of GM largest dealers… and the connection to Middlebrook as a G.M marketer in sales..

    This dont even pass the smell test…The last few Chases have been won by just a few points…Middlebrook is in a key position to take or give back points…Thats not right or fair!!

    Nascar should be called out on this one..Middlebrook should excuse himself from this ruling because of the conflict of insterest and Nascar should find someone else that could make a more independent opinion that fans and compeditors can have confidence when making a ruling this important…!

    This shows just how weak Nascars Conflict of Insterest Policy is and using this as and example of what goes on behind close doors!!!!!!

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    March 16th, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Middlebrook is also a good friend with Richard Childress and he didn’t reduce Boyer’s penalties. Maybe Jenna is being less than accurate, biased or just a bad journalist. But I don’t see that fact there. And to use her article as fact, she has to be credible. And that isn’t the case here.

    Here is my basic problem with this whole affair.

    All any Nascar official had to do was use something like a contour gauge on the #48 pillar and show it side by side with the stamped part the companies buy. There isn’t a fabricator worth his salt that doesn’t have that or a 12″ steel ruller in their tool box. Actually the 12″ steel ruller would have also shown deviations too.

    I am still looking for anything on Nascar’s part with measurable fact. I am NOT a #48 or Hendrick fan. I just like to see some actual evidence. Just showing a part on a table without numbers to back it up means nothing.

    I looked at the pictures and without reference couldn’t tell the part was modified. And I spent 30 years designing and building prototypes and can actually not only fabricate in metal but in wood, composites and can cast and machine parts as well. Basically I am very good at defining material surfaces. Far better than any journalist I have ever met.

  3. Charles Says:
    March 16th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Sue Rarick

    There are other team owner who will have issues with other ‘brand of cars’ how do you think they feel when say a Roush or Gibbs goes up in front of him.. I read others that are singing this tune..Google Middlebrooks resume and he at onetime a go man with GM nascar program….Jenna I think is correct…

    The Nascar title has been won buy less the a few points for years..49 yr GM ex Middlebrook is in a position to take or give points..its that simple.

    Wonder how Hendrick would feel if they were appointing say ‘Carroll Shelby to Middlebrooks job?And he had to appeal to him?……

    This is a important position..and Middlebrook did reduce fines if not points on some of the others…

    This proves that Hendrick is getting to much influence to the way Nascar is being run…

    Hendrick should be no more a competitor than Joe Gibbs, Jack Roush etc!

    Plus and its a big one..with Hendricks ethics in the business world…his shrewd dealings…makes fans alittle leary when things like this are brought out..

    You are looking a the tech things…winning is not just parts and peaces..its politics and Hendrick is good at it!

    Nascar needs a conflict of interest policy or a scandal will surely oneday bring them down..and not by cheating on a racecar…..