NASCAR announced on Tuesday that six NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chiefs and car chiefs — three crew chiefs and car chiefs from Richard Childress Racing and three crew chiefs and car chiefs from Turner Motorsports — were each placed on probation for the remainder of the 2012 season and the crew chiefs were also fined $10,000 apiece for rules infractions that were discovered during opening day inspections at Richmond International Raceway on April 26.
Penalized parties include crew chief Luke Lambert and car chief Phil Gould of RCR’s No. 2 team (driver Elliott Sadler), crew chief Danny Stockman and car chief Robert Strmiska of RCR’s No. 3 team (driver Austin Dillon), crew chief Ernie Cope and car chief Paul Balmer on the Childress No. 33 team (driver Kevin Harvick), crew chief Trent Owens and car chief Shannon Rursch from the No. 30 Turner team (driver James Buescher), crew chief Jimmy Elledge and car chief Ronald Hornaday III on the Turner No. 31 team (driver Justin Allgaier) and crew chief Mike Shiplett and car chief Christopher Meyers from the No. 38 Turner Motorsports team (driver Kasey Kahne).
On Thursday, NASCAR officials determined that the upper front bumper covers on all six cars were not approved by the sanctioning body. As a resulted NASCAR cited rule book sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book), 20A-2.1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel will not be permitted. If, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance), 20A-3.10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.) in its official penalty announcement.
NASCAR confiscated the parts from all six cars on Thursday, and all were replaced on the cars by Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond. The parts were taken to NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further inspection.
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