Carl Long has said he will appeal against the suspension and penalties handed down by NASCAR for rule infractions during last weekend's Sprint All Star event at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Long was suspended for twelve events while crew chief Charles Swing was hit with the same suspension and also fined $200,000. Long was also docked 200 points while wife Danielle lost 200 owner points on the #146 team.
In a statement on his personal website, Long revealed that crew chief Swing had been admitted to hospital suffering from heart problems following the incident and admitted that – while the rules had been broken – it hadn't been an intentional breach of the sport's laws.
“We purchased an engine from a reputable builder at the beginning of the season,” he said. “We overheated the engine in practice and had to change it. We had the option to withdraw and go home before admitting it to inspection. Trusting that our blown engine wouldn't have any problems passing NASCAR tech, we submitted it and put our other motor in the car to get ready for the Showdown.
“As everyone knows it didn't pass tech. The rules are 358 cubic inches and ours is 358.17 cubic inches. The .17 is as wrong as if it would have been 400 cubic inches. This engine is 50 horsepower less than top teams but it was all that could be afforded. I would have never knowingly gone to the race track with a big engine.
“This suspension has not only stopped me from racing, it has also hurt me with my everyday job. It's hard to make a living working at the race track when NASCAR will not let you in. I can only hope that the appeal board will see things differently than the ones that came up with this penalty. I don't consider myself a cheater.
“Every dime we have been able to scrape up we use to race because we love the sport. It takes about a half million in equipment to be able to build an engine, so I have to rely on other people and this time it bit me.”