David Gilliland, Ty Gibbs to appeal heavy penalties for violating testing rules

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Defending K&N Pro Series East championship team DGR Crosley will appeal Wednesday’s L6 penalty assessed by NASCAR for violating the preseason testing policy.

A NASCAR spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports that the team used the NASCAR-approved spec engine in the test. The use of the engine violated the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Series testing policy, which specifically prohibits testing at a sanctioned track on the 2019 K&N Pro Series East schedule.

Car owner David Gilliland and driver Ty Gibbs, the 16-year-old grandson of NASCAR Cup team owner Joe Gibbs, were each suspended three races for the team’s private test at New Smyrna Speedway. Car chief Chad Walters was suspended indefinitely.

Gilliland is also docked 100 owner points. Gibbs has been docked 100 driver points.Gilliland, Gibbs and Walters have each been fined $5,000 apiece. The L6 penalty is the most severe in K&N Pro Series.

No date for the team’s appeal has been set. If the appeal is not heard before the Feb. 10 K&N Pro Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway, all three would be allowed to compete.

Here’s what the violations are, per the NASCAR rule book:

* Section 12‐5.3.7: Violations resulting in L6 Penalties, in general, represent the expressly forbidden areas of unauthorized activity such as violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy.

* Section 12‐ 5.3.7.1.5 Violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy Conducting a private test with a NASCAR K&N Pro Series vehicle at a sanctioned track on the 2019 K&N Pro Series East Schedule (such as New Smyrna Speedway). Private race vehicle testing by any NASCAR K&N Pro Series race team, employee, contractor, affiliate, associated, subsidiary or surrogate at any facility that appears on the Series Schedule or that has been granted a Touring Series sanction will be prohibited regardless of “rookie” or “veteran” status.

DGR Crosley issued a statement Wednesday, claiming it was taking part in a private ARCA test.

“This afternoon NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they are imposing for actions that occurred during an ARCA Racing Series test on January 14. We strongly believe that we did not violate any rules and will therefore appeal the penalty immediately. While the appeals process runs its course, we will move forward and keep our focus on the upcoming season.”

However, the ARCA Series will not hold any sanctioned races at New Smyrna Speedway in 2019.

ARCA also issued a statement on the penalty:

“ARCA does not have any private testing limits at sanctioned or non-sanctioned tracks, other than a clearly defined moratorium on each event entry blank that generally covers the week leading up to an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event. Teams who would like to schedule a private test at one of the 18 tracks on the ARCA schedule do not have to notify us in advance of doing so, it is an agreement between them and the individual track.

“The only time we would get involved would be if a team tested during that moratorium period that is defined on each entry blank. DGR-Crosley Racing is not under any ARCA penalties because they did not break any ARCA rules.”

DGR Crosley won the K&N East series championship last season with driver Tyler Ankrum.

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