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Tuesday Is "Fine" Day In NASCAR And INDYCAR


Tony Stewart confers with teammate Ryan Newman - NASCAR photo

Tony Stewart confers with teammate Ryan Newman - NASCAR photo

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Both NASCAR and INDYCAR announced penalties and fines after last weekend's races at Daytona International Speedway and on the streets of Toronto, Canada, respectively.

NASCAR levied additional penalties to the No. 14 Home Depot Chevrolet, driven by Coke Zero 400 race winner Tony Stewart.

The car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-1J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 2- of he NASCAR Rule Book); and 20-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car).

The violation occurred during post-qualifying inspection on July 6.

At the time of the discovery of these infractions, Stewart, who had qualified second was moved to the rear of the field, but still came back to win the race. The No. 14 team has now received further penalties.

Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until August 22. Car chief Jeff Meendering is also on probation until August 22. Both driver Stewart and owner Margaret Haas have been penalized with the loss of six driver and owner points, respectively.

Stewart-Haas Racing responded to the penalties with a statement from Greg Zipadelli, competition director: “While we respect and accept NASCAR’s decision, we want to be clear that there was no malicious intent. In a rush to replace a cracked rear windshield that happened during tech inspection prior to qualifying, we jostled a cooling hose that was behind the seat. We understand NASCAR’s position and will abide by its decision.”

The team will not appeal.

In the Nationwide Series garage, the No. 3 team campaigned by Richard Childress Racing was found to be in violation of  Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20A-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). This violation occurred during post-qualifying inspection on July 6. This is the second straight week that the No. 3 Chevy, driven by Austin Dillon has been penalized; it's also the third time this year the team has run afoul of NASCAR.

A cooling hose was found inside the car during Dillon's qualifying run and this car was also moved to the rear. Although he started 42nd, Dillon was able to make his way to fourth place in the Bass pro Shops/NRA Museum-sponsored Chevrolet. Dillon lies second in the Nationwide Series championship chase.

Crew chief Danny Stockman has been fined $10,000 and due to the violation of his probation, has been suspended from NASCAR until July 25. Car chief Robert Strmiska has also been suspended from NASCAR competition until July 25 due to the violation of his probation. This past May 1, both Stockman and Strmiska were placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31, for rules violations committed at Richmond International Raceway.
 
Driver Austin Dillon and owner Morgan Shepherd have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and six championship owner points, respectively.
 
The No. 18 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, owned by Joe Gibbs Racing and driven last weekend by Joey Logano, was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J; and 20A-12.8.1(B) (car failed to meet minimum front car heights). This violation occurred during post-race inspection July 6 after finishing fifth.
 
Crew chief Adam Stevens has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Car chief Christopher Landis has been placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Owner Joe Gibbs has been penalized with the loss of six championship owner points.
 
Not to be outdone, the IZOD IndyCar Series levied fines and penalties to A.J. Foyt Enterprises for a post-race infraction at the Honda Indy Toronto. INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the series said the No. 14 Dallara/Hnda/Fiestone Indy car owned by A.J. Foyt Enterprises and driven by Mike Conway has been fined $15,000 and penalized 10 entrant points for not complying with Rule 14.7.2, a fuel system technical bulletin that came out on March 15, 2012.

In that bulletin, INDYCAR stated the maximum capacity of the fuel cell "shall be 18.5 U.S. gallons.

"We felt the discrepancy in the size of the fuel tank was enough that it potentially could have provided a track position advantage and the penalty is reflective of that," Will Phillips, INDYCAR's vice president of technology explained.

Foyt's team may contest the imposition of the penalty or the patriarch, A.J. Foyt Jr may throw something at his son Larry who manages the race team. Driver Mike Conway brought the car home in third place, his first podium result this year.

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