RCR appeal fails to get penalties further reduced for Ryan Newman and his team


CONCORD, N.C. – Richard Childress Racing failed to get penalties to Ryan Newman and his team reduced Wednesday by the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer.

Bryan Moss, the final appeals officer, kept the penalties at what the National Motorsports Appeals Panel decided April 16. The hearing lasted more than nine hours at the NASCAR R&D Center.

Moss made his decision “based on the preponderance of evidence, (RCR’s No. 31 Sprint Cup team) violated the Rules.” NASCAR ruled the team manipulated tires at the March 22 races at Auto Club Speedway.

NASCAR previously cited a third party in examining the tires but has not identified that group or what Newman’s team did to the tires. NASCAR took no questions from the media Wednesday night after announcing Moss’ decision.

No further appeal is available to Richard Childress Racing.

That means Ryan Newman’s crew chief Luke Lambert, tire technician James Bender and engineer Philip Surgen will be suspended for the next six points races and also will miss the Sprint All-Star race. They’ll be able to return to the track for the July 5 race at Daytona International Speedway.

Todd Parrott will serve as Newman’s crew chief during Lambert’s suspension.

“We do not agree with the final ruling,” RCR spokesperson Tim Packman said, reading a statement from Childress.  “We feel that we had a compelling case. We still feel we were in the right and the facts presented today would have proved that. We stand behind our suspended team members and look forward to their return. We will now move on and continue our goals of winning races and making the Chase.”

NASCAR initially docked Newman 75 driver points, Childress 75 owner points and fined Lambert $125,000, along with suspending him six Cup races (plus any non-points races during that span) and placing him on probation through Dec. 31. NASCAR also suspended Bender and Surgen six races each (plus any non-points races during that span) and placed both on probation through Dec. 31.

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel reduced some of the penalties April 16 because “there is no written explanation of what constitutes a post-race inspection” in the Rule Book. The Panel reduced the point penalty to Newman and Childress to 50 points each and cut Lambert’s fine to $75,000 but kept the rest of the penalties. The Panel consisted of former USAC president John Capels, former Speed Channel executive Hunter Nickell and Dale Pinilis, longtime promoter of Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

NASCAR America: Pit crew members share their hidden talents

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What does a sky diver and Olympic-caliber swimmer have in common?

They make their living on NASCAR’s pit road, that’s what.

Check out two of this week’s pit crew all-star nominees, as seen on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America.

NASCAR America: Xfinity drivers react to restrictor plates at Indy (video)

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On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, several of the stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series tried to explain in three words what to expect with the use of restrictor plates in this Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

See what they said and what they’re thinking about Saturday’s race in the video above.

NASCAR America: Bubba Wallace Jr.’s search for a ride continues (video)

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Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.’s search for a new ride continues.

Wallace joined NASCAR America in-studio on Thursday and talked about his recent fill-in role at Richard Petty Motorsports during Aric Almirola‘s crash recovery, as well as his hope that a new ride will come around soon.

Wallace also weighed in on Alex Bowman being selected Thursday to replace the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Chevrolet and what it means for the young generation of drivers.

Find out what Bubba had to say in the video above.



NASCAR America: What happens to Brad Keselowski now that 88 ride has been filled? (video)

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Amid all the news about Alex Bowman replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Team Hendrick Chevrolet next season, one thing was kind of overlooked.

Rumors had floated throughout the sport the last several weeks about Brad Keselowski being a possible candidate to replace Earnhardt, as well.

Those rumors were only bolstered more by the fact Keselowski has still not signed a contract extension with Team Penske. His current deal runs out at the end of the current Cup season.

NASCAR Talk’s Nate Ryan appeared on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America and talked about the various ramifications of the Bowman deal. But Ryan also suggested that with Bowman now in place, will that potentially hasten Keselowski’s re-signing with Team Penske perhaps sooner than later now that the 88 ride is off the table?

“Whether Brad Keselowski was seriously weighing a move to the 88 or whether he was using it as leverage to get a better deal from Team Penske and Ford, this just makes it all the more likely that he will re-sign with Team Penske and stay in the No. 2 Ford next year,” Ryan said.

“It’s very likely that we will hear soon that Brad Keselowski is re-signing with Team Penske. That deal is very close.”

Ryan also discussed whether another driver whose name was mentioned as a potential replacement for Earnhardt, young William Byron, may also score a promotion to the Cup Series with Team Hendrick.

“I think Cup could still be in the cards for next year,” Ryan said of Byron. “Kasey Kahne is under contract in the No. 5 for Hendrick Motorsports for 2018, but he is having a very disappointing season.

“If Hendrick elected to make a change on that ride, it could depend on sponsorship. That ride doesn’t have much sponsorship announced yet for 2018 and William Byron could certainly be an option there.

“He brings some sponsorship from Liberty University, and he also has been sponsored in a few races with Axalta and they really like what he’s done. If he goes to Cup, they really want to be on his car.”