The National Motorsports Appeals Panel on Wednesday upheld NASCAR's penalty assessed against driver Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing for infractions two weekends ago at Chicagoland Speedway, site of the opening race of the Chase for Sprint Cup.
This means crew chief Billy Scott's three-race suspension, which was deferred through the appeal process, will now take effect.
NASCAR said the No. 15 team had parts not properly installed on its Toyota during the opening inspection at Chicagoland. NASCAR decided that the truck arms on the car, which are not intended to be adjustable, were indeed flexible.
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MWR continues to deny wrongdoing, but will not appeal further.
Bowyer will need to win Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway to move on in the Chase and remain championship-eligible.
"We are disappointed with the outcome of today's ruling and still feel our interpretation is within the guidelines," MWR said in a statement after Wednesday's ruling. "Rather than continue the appeals process, MWR is ready to focus 100 percent of our company's resources on winning at Dover and trying to advance to the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."
Bowyer was docked 25 points, dropping him to last in the 16-driver Chase field. In addition to the suspension, Scott was fined $75,000 and placed on probation for six months.
Dover is the last race in the opening round of the Chase before four drivers will be cut from the 16-driver field. Bowyer is 81 points out of the lead and, more importantly, 39 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- the last driver currently in position to advance to the next round of the Chase.
Following is the full statement issued by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel on Wednesday:
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P4 penalty issued on Sept. 23 to Rob Kauffman (owner), Clint Bowyer (driver), and Billy W. Scott (crew chief) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #15 at Chicagoland Speedway.
The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1, 20.14c, 22.214.171.124.k, 126.96.36.199.d, 188.8.131.52.1.d&f, 184.108.40.206.2.
The original penalty assessed included a $75,000 fine, three-race suspension and six months' probation for Scott and loss of 25 championship car owner and 25 championship driver points to both Kauffman and Bowyer.
Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
1. The Appellants violated the Rule or Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice.
2. That the Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty assessed by NASCAR.
The panel consisted of the following three individuals:
Mr. Paul Brooks
Mr. Bill Lester
Mr. Bill Mullis
The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book as the Expedited Final Appeal. The deadline for filing is 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 30.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.