A 15-day investigation has resulted in NASCAR suspending child driver Andrew Molleur indefinitely after it determined the Connecticut native competed and won in the SK Light Modified series while claiming to be 15 years old and that he “provided false information” in obtaining his NASCAR Learner’s Permit.
A driver must be 14 years to qualify for a Learner’s Permit to compete in a NASCAR Division II series or lower. The SK Light Modified series is a Division II series.
The investigation and suspension of Molleur came after he became the youngest SK Light Modified winner at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, Connecticut.
NASCAR released the following statement on the situation on Monday.
“The driver, Andrew Molleur, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for the following infractions: Section 3-11.1A.1.: To be eligible for a NASCAR Learner’s Permit as a race vehicle driver, a NASCAR Member, at a minimum, must be at least 14 years of age; Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; and Section 12-4H2.: Provided false information on the NASCAR license application.”
Eact Connecticut’s The Bulletin has multiple stories that referred to Molleur as being 12 or 13. When Molleur won his first race at the Speedbowl in 2011, The Bulletin reported his age as being 8.
Mike Molleur, father of Andrew, told The Bulletin that he had provided a birth certificate that verified his son was old enough to have a permit.
“At the beginning of the year, I discussed it with a couple track owners and stuff and said this is what we have, this is what we’re doing,” Mike Molleur said. “There’s no reason you shouldn’t let us race because of what someone says, here’s what we have.”
New London-Waterford Speedbowl general manager Shawn Monahan told The Bulletin two weeks later, after Andrew Molleur had been parked by NASCAR until the investigation’s completion, that competitors had raised the issue of his age to him earlier in the season.
Monahan also said he supported any ruling by NASCAR.
“NASCAR obviously wasn’t happy with what the father had produced for them, so they’ve taken it to this level and passed that penalty down,” Monohan said after the suspension was handed out on Monday. “So obviously it’s something that not only our track, but all tracks are going to honor.”
That was the case at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan.
At the end of July, NASCAR ruled that Carson Hocevar, a 13-year-old driver from Portage, Michigan, was too young to compete at the track after he won a July 16 Super Late Model race at the track, becoming what is believed to be the youngest feature race winner in the track’s 66-year history.
“What sparked it was Carson’s win a couple of weeks ago,” track president Mike Bursley told MLive.com. “It kind of went national, and it went up the ladder and raised red flags to those guys and they pulled the plug on them this week. We tried really, really hard to work with them.”
In 2015, Hocevar drove a family-owned Outlaw Late Model at Berlin at the age of 12. But Berlin did not become a NASCAR-sanctioned facility until the following off-season.
When the track’s current season started in April, Hocevar and two other drivers – Christopher Joyce and Joe Moody – were 13. Bursley told MLive.com that NASCAR had given its blessing for them to race as long as the track had a separate insurance policy for them.
On Aug. 1 NASCAR issued the following statement to MLive:
“There was an unfortunate miscommunication in conversations between NASCAR and Berlin Raceway that recently came to light and has now been corrected. NASCAR regrets the misunderstanding, but also recognizes that this is an important matter for all involved. NASCAR is taking additional steps to insure that there is no ambiguity regarding age limits with any NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks moving forward.”
Said Bursley: “We have email trails that acknowledged it and that they were 100 percent aware of everything. There was no miscommunication. NASCAR was well aware of what was going on.”
Since the start of the season, Joyce and Moody have turned 14, which Hocevar won’t do so until January.
“It is definitely something we are going evaluate during the offseason,” Bursley said. “We are definitely going to have major conversations with NASCAR because NASCAR has it embedded in these kids’ heads that they need to be in the (Camping World) Truck Series by the age of 16. But yet, they don’t allow them to drive a car at their home track until they are 14. How do they expect these kids to get any experience?”