|Car owner Joe Falk|
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P4 penalty issued on March 25 to car owner Joe Falk and crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe (crew chief), as a result of issues discovered on the No. 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway.
The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:
12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
20.14.2: Rear Suspension: Truck Trailing Arm
E. The left and right side truck trailing arms must be mounted to the truck trailing arm mounting brackets using a one-piece, minimum ¾ inch diameter magnetic steel bolt.
F. The horizontal centerline of the highest truck trailing arm mounting bolt must not be higher than the top surface of the truck trailing arm crossmember, at the respective truck trailing arm mounting bracket, when the vehicle is at inspection orientation.
INFRACTION: The ¾ inch diameter magnetic steel truck trailing arm mounting bolt was not installed horizontally.
J. Truck trailing arm must conform to the following drawing as specified in the NASCAR rule book: Rear Suspension-Truck Trailing Arm: A-008-00183-14 Rev.C
|Crew chief Slugger Labbe|
INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm monoball sleeve does not meet the drawing specifications. Sleeve is required to be minimum .125 inch minimum thick x two inches wide sleeve machined for press fit of .750 I.D. or .875 I.D. monoball assembly.
188.8.131.52.1: Truck Trailing Arm Crossmember Assembly:Truck Trailing Arm Mounting Brackets
B. Truck trailing arm mounting brackets must be constructed of magnetic steel flat plate with a minimum thickness of 0.169 inch.
INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm mounting bracket adapter was machined from Aluminum solid.
20.20: Assembled Vehicle Overall Rules
A. Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR rules, installation of additional components and/or modifications of existing components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle will not be permitted, including but not limited to, safety systems, chassis and roll cage, suspension, steering systems, brake systems, heat shields, body fillers, body sealers, filler panels, drivetrain components and exhaust components
The original penalty called for a $50,000 fine, three-race suspension and probation through Dec. 31 for Labbe and the loss of 25 championship car owner points for Falk. The Appellants appealed both penalties.
Upon hearing the testimony, a three-member National Motorsports Appeals Panel comprised of Russell Hackett, Lake Speed and John White ruled that the Appellants violated one of the rules set forth in the penalty notice, specifically with regards to the aluminum component, but that the other infractions are subject to interpretation. The panel amended the original penalty levied by NASCAR to a P2 penalty, resulting in the loss of 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner points for Falk, along with a $20,000 fine, three-race suspension (two of which have already been served) and probation through Dec. 31 for Labbe.
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.