Richard Childress Racing appealing NASCAR punishment of Ryan Newman’s team for illegal tires

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Richard Childress Racing will appeal NASCAR’s penalty for illegal modifications to the tires used on Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup race March 22 at Auto Club Speedway.

The team filed an appeal request Thursday, a NASCAR spokesman confirmed. A date for the appeal, which will be heard by a three-person panel, hasn’t been determined.

In a P5 penalty (the second stiffest in NASCAR’s rulebook), Newman was penalized 75 points, and car owner Richard Childress docked 75 points. Crew chief Luke Lambert was fined $125,000, suspended from six Sprint Cup races and placed on probation through Dec. 31.

NASCAR also suspended tire technician James Bender and engineer Philip Surgen for six races and placed them on probation through Dec. 31.

RCR also filed a request for deferral of suspensions and fines while the appeal is pending. NASCAR will grant that request and allow RCR’s suspended team members to work at the racetrack if the appeal isn’t heard prior to the the April 11 race at Texas Motor Speedway.

NASCAR vice president of Integrated Marketing Communications David Higdon posted on Twitter that RCR’s request to have the points penalties deferred was denied. Higdon said the points would be reinstated if the team wins the appeal.

An RCR spokesman confirmed the appeal and said the team was working with NASCAR to schedule a hearing date.

NASCAR also confirmed that RCR is appealing the three-race suspension of crew chief Slugger Labbe for an unapproved trailing arm found on Brian Scott’s Chevrolet in prerace inspection March 20 at Auto Club Speedway.