NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer's 25-point penalty for improper installation of parts has crippled his Chase title hopes.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Michael Waltrip Racing officially filed an appeal Thursday of the championship-crippling penalties levied against Clint Bowyer’s team.
Crew chief Billy Scott’s three-race suspension has been deferred through the appeal process. The appeal will be heard Wednesday.
NASCAR said the No. 15 team had parts not properly installed on its Toyota during the opening inspection last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR decided that the truck arms on the car, which are not intended to be adjustable, were indeed flexible.
Bowyer was docked 25 points, dropping him to last in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field. In addition to the suspension, Scott was fined $75,000 and suspended for the next three races, and placed on probation for six months.
There are two races remaining in the opening round of the Chase before four drivers will be cut from the 16-driver field.
Scott will work this weekend at New Hampshire, and MWR has denied wrongdoing.
The points deduction for Bowyer remains in effect through the appeals process, which means that reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick moves up to 15th in the standings. Harvick left Chicago on Sunday ranked last after he crashed because his tire failed after contact with Jimmie Johnson on a restart.
Bowyer was already a long shot to advance out of the first round of the Chase and legitimately contend for the title. He was one of the final drivers to qualify for the Chase in what's been a below-average year for the driver. He finished 19th in the opening race at Chicago.