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Massive MWR penalties eject Truex from the Chase

NASCAR has imposed huge penalties on Michael Waltrip Racing, which see Martin Truex Jr. lose his place in the Chase in favour of Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman.
Less than 48 hours earlier, the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field had been set after the end of the Saturday night race at Richmond International Raceway. But in an unprecedented Monday evening press conference, NASCAR announced penalties that rewrote the line-up.

The penalties were the culmination of a review into events that took place at the end of the weekend's Cup race which was the decider before the Chase cut-off. Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman was leading the race and looking set for victory with seven laps to go when Michael Waltrip Racing's Clint Bowyer suddenly spun out on the frontstretch.

As a result of the ensuing pit stops and final restart, Carl Edwards won the race and Newman ended up in third place which meant that he missed out on the final wins wildcard place in the Chase to Bowyer's team mate Martin Truex Jr. If Newman had won the race then the wildcard spot would have been his and Truex would have missed the cut.

After an intense review of the circumstances surrounding Bowyer's spin, NASCAR concluded on Monday that the team had purposefully conspired through the use of covert team orders to manipulate the race outcome in direct contravention of the series rules, and accordingly handed down some of the biggest penalties ever seen in the series' history.

All three of MWR's cars lose 50 points in both the drivers and owners championships, and MWR itself has been fined a record $300,000. The team's executive vice-president and general manager Ty Norris has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR competition, and all three car crew chiefs placed on probation until the end of 2013.

"Based upon our review of Saturday night's race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organisation attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race," explained Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "As the sport's sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that," he added.

"It's difficult," said NASCAR president Mike Helton. "It's not an easy decision to make. The conversations about it were deep ... We penalised it to ask for it to not happen again. It's a message from the sanctioning body to say, 'You can't do this.'

"Remember, it's a sport and it's got a lot of fun attached to it," Helton added. "Every now and then it gets out of bounds and we have to bring it back in order to maintain credibility."

The net result of the points deductions - which are applied to the points standings before they are reset for the Chase - means that Truex is no longer ahead of Newman in the standings and therefore loses his hold on the wildcard and no longer makes the play-offs. Instead, Ryan Newman now finishes in the wildcard position and is duly promoted into the 2013 Chase after all, just two days after the heartbreak of believing that he'd missed out.




Related Pictures

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Martin Truex Jr. drives the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 12, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 13: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet, talks to team owner Tony Stewart after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 56th Annual Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 56th Annual Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, spins in front of Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s American Heritage Chocolate Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 56th Annual Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2013 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)

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