The tire penalty given to Ryan Newman’s No. 31 team after California stands on final appeal.
Final appeals officer Bryan Moss upheld the penalties assessed to the team after the first appeal based on a “preponderance of evidence.” While the original penalties were decreased after the initial appeal, Richard Childress Racing elected to take its case to Moss in the hopes of getting them decreased further.
The team was penalized for manipulating the tires during the race at Auto Club Speedway. According to NASCAR, the team made a modification to release pressure from the tire outside of legal means. Before Newman’s penalty, there was talk in the garage that teams were poking holes in tires to bleed air pressure throughout the length of a tire run. As tires get hotter, air pressure builds and a tire with lower air pressure is faster.
Newman will lose 50 points while crew chief Luke Lambert, tire tech James Bender and engineer Philip Surgen are suspended for six races. They did not start serving their suspensions through the appeals process and are now eligible to return at Daytona in July.
Before the first appeal, Newman’s penalty was 75 points and Lambert was fined $125,000. He’s now fined $75,000 as the appeals board said “because there is no written explanation of what constitutes a post-race inspection.”
Newman is now officially in 14th in the Sprint Cup Series standings and 123 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick.
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