Chief Appellate Officer overturns ruling against No. 48 team – with exceptions

On March 20, 2012, the Chief Appellate Officer heard and considered the appeal of the penalties resulting from the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.  This stemmed from an opening day inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012.

The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing;” Section 12-4(J): “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event;” and Section 20-2.1(E): “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.”

The results of the appeal hearing were as follows:

-         Rescinding the loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points (for Jeff Gordon).

-         Rescinding the loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points (for Jimmie Johnson).

-         Rescinding the six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events suspension for the Crew Chief (Chad Knaus) and Car Chief (Ron Malec), however both will remain on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.

-         $100,000 fine remains in place for the Crew Chief (Chad Knaus).

John Middlebrook – Chief Appellate Officer