Michael Waltrip Racing's formal appeal against a P4-level penalty for a technical infraction at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago has been dismissed by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel

The #15 team had been penalised for illegally modified parts - specifically, allowing the track bar to move with illegal washers or mounts - that were found on the car in pre-race inspection for the first race of the 2015 Chase. The specific rules breached were sections 12.1, 20.14c,,,, of the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book.

Bowyer was docked 25 championship points, an almost impossible setback to his hopes of progressing to the second round of the championship play-offs. Car owner Rob Kauffman was also docked 35 owner points, while crew chief Billy Scott was fined $75,000 and handed a three-race suspension, another major issue for the team in its fading hopes of keeping its Chase hopes alive.

MWR immediately said it would appeal the penalty, and the appeal hearing was held on September 30 at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.

The three-person panel returned a verdict quicker than expected and ruled that "the Appellants violated the Rule or Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice" and "that the Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty assessed by NASCAR."

MWR had a right of final appeal to NASCAR's chief appellate officer Bryan Moss but announced later the same day that they would not be exercising that option, and would now accept the penalty as it stands.

"We are disappointed with the outcome of today's ruling and still feel our interpretation is within the guidelines," the team said in a statement. "Rather than continue the appeals process, MWR is ready to focus 100 per cent of our company's resources on winning at Dover and trying to advance to the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."

Even without the 25 point penalty, Bowyer would be 14 points outside the top 12 in the points that he needs to finish in after this weekend's race at Dover International Speedway if he wants to progress to the second round of the Chase and remain a title contender.

However, an outright win at Dover would still guarantee Bowyer a spot in the next round and keep him in the running. The last time that Bowyer won a Sprint Cup race was at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October 2012.

The team has not yet named a replacement for Scott who will now start his suspension with immediate effect.

MWR will be ceasing operations at the end of the current season, and earlier in the day Clint Bowyer was announced as the driver who will take over the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing car in 2017 when three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart retires from competition.