PROGRAMMING NOTE: Throughout the day, SPEED and NASCAR Insider Wendy Venturini are on-site to capture the latest information with the appeal, breaking into regularly scheduled programming throughout the day. Then at 6 p.m. ET tonight, full coverage from today’s proceedings can be seen on NASCAR Race Hub Special Report. Daily updates on SPEED and SPEED.com.
A three-member panel today unanimously upheld NASCAR’s penalties levied against the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team for illegal C-posts discovered during a pre-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500.
Hendrick Motorsports will have one final chance at getting the penalties overturned, when at an unspecified date it will go before NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, a former General Motors executive.
Asked why he will appeal again, team owner Rick Hendrick said, “We don’t accept this penalty. Period.”
The Hendrick appeal began at 9 a.m. ET at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. and ended at about 2:30 p.m. The three members of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel who heard the case were John Capels, Leo Mehl and Dale Pinilis.
“I stand firmly behind our guys, but I do applaud NASCAR in giving us a process that we can present our side of things and then try to come to a conclusion,” said Hendrick. “So, for that I’m very appreciative of the system that NASCAR has in place.”
The original penalty ruling was that the No. 48 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (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).
Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec were suspended for six Sprint Cup races and Knaus was fined $100,000. But both will be at Bristol, pending the final appeal.
SPEED and SPEED.com will have much more on this story to follow.
Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.