NASCAR penalizes Xfinity team for testing violation at Rockingham Speedway

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NASCAR has penalized Mike Harmon 75 owner and driver points that will apply to the 2022 season for violating the sanctioning body’s testing rules.

NASCAR also announced Tuesday that it had fined crew chief Ryan Bell $50,000 and suspended him for the next six points events for the testing violation.

Mike Harmon Racing was penalized for violating sections 5.1.a.c.d of the vehicle testing guidelines in the Xfinity Series Rule Book. The team recently was at Rockingham Speedway and posted about it on social media.

The rules the team violated:

5.1 VEHICLE TESTING
  • .a Unless otherwise authorized, and a test voucher has been approved by NASCAR, it is strictly prohibited to use a NASCAR National Series vehicle or its equivalent, as determined by NASCAR (See Section 5.5 Stock Car Equivalent), for testing, practicing, qualifying, or racing other than in a NASCAR Series Event or as outlined in Section 5.2 NASCAR National Series Unified Testing. This applies to any team, employee, driver, contractor, affiliate, associate, subsidiary, or surrogate.
  • .c Prohibition of vehicle testing will be in effect throughout the calendar year and applies to any facility, irrespective of whether they are race tracks or not.
  • .d NASCAR, in its sole discretion, will determine what constitutes an authorized vehicle test. In general, only tests conducted under the NASCAR National Series Unified Testing policy are considered to be authorized vehicle tests.

Mike Harmon Racing stated on social media that it will appeal the penalties from the “exhibition charity event,” saying what the team did at Rockingham was “not an intentional attempt to circumvent the rules that NASCAR has in place to ensure the integrity of the sport.”

The organizer of the event at Rockingham Speedway that Harmon participated issued a statement on Facebook on Monday.

NASCAR also announced Tuesday that Caesar Bacarella has been suspended indefinitely for the violation of the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Police. Bacarella is a partner with Tommy Joe Martins in Alpha Prime Racing, which will make its debut in the Xfinity Series in 2022. Bacarella will drive for the team in some races in 2022.

In a statement from Martins, he said: “Caesar was notified by NASCAR earlier this month he had unknowingly taken a workout supplement on the banned substances list. He has fully complied with NASCAR, already enrolled in the Road to Recovery program, and we fully expect him to be suiting up for Alpha Prime Racing at Daytona in February.