While Clint Bowyer was being introduced as the driver of the No. 14 car starting in 2017, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard and decided on an appeal by Bowyer’s team for infractions that occurred at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago.
The verdict? Upheld.
Michael Waltrip Racing appealed the penalties — a P4 that brought about a $75,000 fine and three-race suspension for crew chief Billy Scott, a loss of 25 driver points for Bowyer and 25 owner points for Kauffman — levied for illegally modifying the track bar during the MyAFibRisk.com 400 weekend.
For Bowyer, the penalty seriously hurt his chances at advancing past the first round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The 25-point penalty corresponded to the exact amount he earned that weekend. He is currently 39 markers behind the cutoff and will need to win this weekend at Dover to advance.
The three-member panel consisted of the following representatives: Paul Brooks, Bill Lester and Bill Mullis.
Due to the Chase cutoff event at Dover this weekend, NASCAR has requested an expedited final appeal, should Bowyer and Kauffman want to appeal this decision. They had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file for final appeal, but the organization has decided to accept the verdict.
“We are disappointed with the outcome of today’s ruling and still feel out interpretation is within the guidelines,” the organization said in a statement. “Rather than continue the appeals process, MWR is ready to focus 100% of our company’s resources on winning at Dover and trying to advance to the Contender Round of the Chase of the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”
No details were given as to how the three-member panel reached their unanimous decision.