NASCAR issued its weekly penalty report Wednesday. Amongst that announcement was a penalty for Clint Bowyer that could hamper his quest to make it out of the first round of the 2015 NASCAR Chase. The biggest penalty was to the team of Michael Waltrip Racing and driver Clint Bowyer.
Bowyer's penalties stem from infractions found during opening day inspection prior to last weekend's Chicago race. (Section 12.1, 20. 14.c, 188.8.131.52.k, 184.108.40.206.d, 220.127.116.11.1.d & f, 18.104.22.168.2 of the NASCAR rule book).
Jeff Gordon's last race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will come at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Vehicle owner Rob Kauffman has been penalized 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Owner points.
Based off the sections mentioned in the rule book, the No. 15 committed a track bar penalty.
MWR will appeal the penalty, and NASCAR has asked that the appeal process be expedited because of its potential impact on the Chase.
UPDATE- Michael Waltrip Racing has released a statement saying that they "respectfully disagree" with NASCAR and that they will begin the appeals process immediately. MWR has made mistakes in the past, but we feel we are correct in this instance.
The sanctions were severe, Truex was kicked out of the Chase field, and sponsor NAPA ultimately left the team. The team has never really recovered and last month announced they will be shutting down at the end of this season.
Four teams were penalized following the Chicagoland race weekend and one's Chase hopes now hinge upon winning one of the next two races.
Should MWR lose its appeal, Bowyer would fall from 15th in the points to 16th.
This is also the second time that Bowyer has been busted during the Chase. According to NASCAR, the right side quarter panel behind the rear wheel/tire was modified during pre-qualifying inspection. The P2 penalty places crew chief Daniel Knost and Vehicle chief Pete White on probation through December 31, 2015.
Suarez's No. 18 side skirt was found to be modified following pre-race inspection while Busch's No. 54 was too low following the race.
Suarez's crew chief Eric Phillips and crew member John Egbert, Jr. were placed on probation through December 31, 2015.
In addition to the suspension and points penalty to both Bowyer and the team in the owner standings, Scott was fined $75,000 and put on probation for the next six months.