Richard Childress Racing feels it has ‘very compelling case’ when tire penalty appeal is heard next week

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Richard Childress Racing said Thursday it feels it has a “very compelling case” when its appeal of penalties handed down by NASCAR last week will be heard April 16.

RCR was penalized after NASCAR said illegal modifications were discovered on the tires from Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet in the March 22 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

As a result, NASCAR meted out P5 penalties, the second-highest level of violations.

“We feel confident we have a very compelling case to present to the appeals panel,” team owner Richard Childress said in a statement issued by the team. “We strongly believe in the intent of the rules and the integrity of our own teams while following those same rules.

“Out of respect for the appeal process, we will have no further comments until after the hearing.”

Among those penalized within RCR were:

* Newman was docked 75 driver points.

* Childress was docked 75 owner points.

* Crew chief Luke Lambert was fined $125,000, suspended for six Sprint Cup races and placed on probation through Dec. 31.

* Tire technician James Bender was suspended for six races and placed on probation through Dec. 31.

* Team engineer Philip Surgen was suspended for six races and placed on probation through Dec. 31.

NASCAR has granted RCR’s request to defer the suspensions and fines until next week’s appeal hearing, which will take place at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. Lambert, Bender and Surgen will work on Newman’s team this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, which plays host to Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500.

However, the points penalties remain in effect. If RCR wins its appeal, the points that have been vacated for Newman and Childress likely would be reinstated.

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

MORE: Appeal of illegal tire penalty on Ryan Newman’s team will be heard April 16

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