After several weeks of back-and-forth in the media, Hendrick Motorsports has finally had the opportunity to make their case to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.
The appeal, made Wednesday by the championship-winning organization, is the first of three that the NMAP will consider in the coming weeks, all of which originate from Phoenix.
On the evening of March 29, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel announced that they've decided to amend the penalties assessed to Hendrick Motorsports, to include a $100,000 fine and a four-race suspension for Cliff Daniels, Rudy Fugle, Alan Gustafson, and Blake Harris.
However, the points implications of the penalties have been waved, meaning that Alex Bowman, William Byron, and Kyle Larson will get the 100 points that were deducted after Phoenix Raceway returned to their season point totals.
With the return of the driver's points, Alex Bowman jumps to the top of the NASCAR Cup Series point standings entering Sunday's race at Richmond Raceway, while William Byron jumps to fourth and Kyle Larson to ninth.
The No. 9 team, which has been shared by Jordan Taylor and Josh Berry in the absence of NASCAR's Most Popular Driver, Chase Elliott, jumps to 20th in NCS Owner Points.
Daniels, Fugle, Gustafson, and Harris will serve the final two events of their four-race suspensions over the next two NASCAR Cup Series events at Richmond and Bristol Dirt.
“We are grateful to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel for their time and attention,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Today’s outcome reflects the facts, and we’re pleased the panel did the right thing by overturning the points penalty. It validated our concerns regarding unclear communication and other issues we raised. We look forward to focusing on the rest of our season, beginning with this weekend’s race at Richmond (Raceway).”
“We are pleased that the National Motorsports Appeals Panel agreed that Hendrick Motorsports violated the rule book. However, we are disappointed that the entirety of the penalty was not upheld. A points penalty is a strong deterrent that is necessary to govern the garage following rule book violations, and we believe that it was an important part of the penalty in this case and moving forward. We will continue to inspect and officiate the NASCAR garage at the highest level of scrutiny to ensure a fair and level playing field for our fans and the entire garage.” – NASCAR
Photo Credit: Chris Owens, HHP, Courtesy of Team Chevy