Final Appeals Officer rescinds fine to Mike Harmon Racing

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Mike Harmon Racing had its fine rescinded and crew chief Ryan Bell had his six-race suspension rescinded Thursday by the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Roger Werner.

NASCAR penalized Mike Harmon 75 owner and driver points for the 2022 season and fined Bell $50,000 and suspended him for six points events on Nov. 22 for a testing violation.

At issue was Harmon using one of his team’s Xfinity cars for a charity event at Rockingham. The team appealed the penalties, stating that having the car at Rockingham was “not an intentional attempt to circumvent the rules that NASCAR has in place to ensure the integrity of the sport.”

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel announced Dec. 15 that it had upheld the penalties but stated the $50,000 fine be levied against Harmon, not Bell.

The team appealed to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer. The officer’s decision cannot be appealed.

In Werner’s decision, he wrote: “That the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel, upholding the original penalty that was issued by NASCAR, was incorrect in light of the NASCAR rulebook modification made on January 24, 2022. This rulebook change allowed the penalty elements to be applied on an and/or basis, and based upon that, the penalty has been modified to be a loss of 75 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Team Owner and Driver points. The suspension and monetary fine elements have been rescinded.”