NASCAR

Former National Commissioner Charles Strang dies at 96

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Charles Strang, who oversaw NASCAR appeals as the national commissioner for the sanctioning body for more than a decade, died Sunday. He was 96.

Strang took over the role in 1999 and had the final say on appeal decisions for 11 seasons. In NASCAR’s system for challenging penalties, appeals initially were heard by a three-person panel chosen from a pool of more than two dozen on the National Stock Car Racing Commission. If a case reached the final appeal stage, the case was heard and decided solely by the national commissioner.

Strang reportedly heard a dozen final appeals during his tenure.

Strang also was a mainstay in the boating industry, working at companies that built boat engines. He reportedly was the longtime top engineer at Mercury Marine, which was founded by Carl Kiekhaefer, a two-time championship car owner in NASCAR with drivers Tim Flock and Buck Baker.

“Charles Strang joined NASCAR following a long tenure as an executive at Outboard Marine Corp., where he built a well-deserved reputation as a respected leader with a reasoned and measured voice,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said in a statement. “He used those skills expertly in our sport for many years, holding the post of NASCAR National Commissioner for more than a decade.

“Charlie was a valued friend and resource to both my father and I, and to many throughout NASCAR. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Charlie’s wife Barbara, his entire family and his many friends.”

Strang was succeeded in 2010 as national commissioner by John Middlebrook. NASCAR reorganized its appeals structure in 2013, installing Bryan Moss as the newly named final appeals officer.

Team Penske’s final appeal of penalty to Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 rescheduled to Wednesday

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The hearing has been rescheduled for Team Penske’s final appeal of postrace penalties to Brad Keselowski’s after the March 19 race at Phoenix Raceway.

Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss will hear the case Wednesday at 6 p.m. after initially being slated to preside on Tuesday at 9 a.m

Crew chief Paul Wolfe was suspended for three races and fined $65,000, and Keselowski and the No. 2 Ford team were docked 35 points for failing the Laser Inspection System after a fifth place at Phoenix.

Wolfe’s suspension has been deferred by NASCAR during the appeal. He will work today’s postponed race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wolfe sat out Fontana but returned at Martinsville Speedway (where Keselowski won) and at Texas Motor Speedway as the team appealed.

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld NASCAR’s penalty after an April 12 hearing.

If Moss denies Penske’s appeal, Wolfe would miss the races at Richmond International Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Crew chief Paul Wolfe will be with Brad Keselowski at Bristol pending final appeal

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Crew chief Paul Wolfe will be atop Brad Keselowski’s pit box at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend while the team awaits the final appeal of its Phoenix penalty.

Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss will hear Team Penske’s case Tuesday, April 25th, and NASCAR has granted deferral of Wolfe’s suspension through Bristol. Team Penske confirmed Wednesday that Wolfe will lead Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford this weekend at the 0.533-mile track, where Keselowski has two wins.

Wolfe was suspended for three races and fined $65,000, and Keselowski and the team were docked 35 points for failing the Laser Inspection System after a fifth place at Phoenix Raceway.

Wolfe sat out Fontana but returned at Martinsville Speedway (where Keselowski won) and Texas Motor Speedway as the team appealed the penalty.

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld NASCAR’s penalty after an April 12 hearing.

If Moss denies Penske’s appeal, Wolfe would miss the races at Richmond International Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway if he is at Bristol.