NASCAR has issued penalties to the #00, #47 and #56 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during opening day inspection Oct. 21 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Crew chiefs Rodney Childers (#00), Frank Kerr (#47) and Chad Johnston (#56) have each been fined $50,000 and have been suspended from the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and suspended from NASCAR until Nov. 23. Car chiefs Steve Channing (#00), Raymond Fox (#47) and Anthony Lunders (#56) have also been suspended from the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and suspended from NASCAR until Nov. 23. Additionally, Bobby Kennedy, director of competition for Michael Waltrip Racing, has been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.
Car owners Rob Kauffman (#00), Tad Geschickter (#47), and Michael Waltrip (#56) have each been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points. Drivers David Reutimann, Bobby Labonte and Martin Truex Jr. have each been penalized with the loss of 25 championship driver points.
Michael Waltrip Racing has issued a response to the penalties, saying the team, "is ultra-sensitive and very serious about working within the guidelines of NASCAR policy. We do not condone this type of activity and as such we will take appropriate internal corrective action immediately. We thank NASCAR for providing a fair and equitable platform for all of its competitors and respect its decisions; therefore, we will not appeal.”
MWR said #56 crew chief Pat Tryson will serve as interim crew chief in place of suspended crew chief Chad Johnston at Martinsville, with mechanic Allen Mincey serving as interim car chief. On the #00 team, Bobby Kennedy will serve as interim crew chief in place of Childers, with Chris Hall as interim car chief.
Both crew and car chiefs will return to their positions following their suspensions.