NASCAR's chief appellate officer has upheld the 150pt penalty for Clint Bowyer for technical infringements in the Richard Childress Racing car that won at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19.
NASCAR rejected RCR's initial appeal last week
, but John Middlebrook revised the financial and suspension penalties levied against other members of the team. Crew chief Shane Wilson and car chief Chad Haney have their six week suspensions reduced to four, and Wilson's fine was reduced from $150,000 to $100,000
"After reviewing all the data, presentation and factors involved, I am ruling NASCAR was correct in its decision to levy penalties," Middlebrook said in a statement. "I believe that the revisions that have been made to the penalties are consistent and fair to both parties involved."
"I'm disappointed the results are not what we wanted, but I feel we received a fair hearing," team owner Richard Childress said in a statement. "[Middlebrook] listened to both sides," Childress continued. "We could ask John [Darby] questions, John could ask us questions or we could each one comment and hear the other one's comments.
"That made it very fair. ... Today's procedure, if it was done similar to that at the other appeal, we wouldn't be here today. I would not have appealed if it had been done like today. We heard a little bit of both sides today, and we didn't get to hear that in the last appeal."
Childress did not present any new evidence Tuesday, nor was his accident reconstruction expert Dr. Charles Manning asked to testify.
Cup Series director John Darby was happy that Middlebrook had endorsed the inspection process, and wouldn't be drawn on whether future violations would result in four-week suspensions instead of the six-week suspensions that have been the norm for chassis violations in recent years.
"Nobody wins, nobody loses here," Darby said. "What I look at it as a challenge to NASCAR's inspection procedures and the consistency. And I think with the outcome where it is, I believe what has been shown is the way we inspect the cars is consistent, the procedures we apply to the cars are well-known amongst the garage and the way we generally do business from the inspection side of the sport is okay."
As a result of the Sprint Cup points penalty that was unchanged, Bowyer is now 252pts behind series leader Jimmie Johnson with seven races remaining in the Chase.