News & Media

Panel upholds suspensions for Menard's team

September 10, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service,

The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel upheld six-week suspensions Monday for two members of the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series.

Paul Menard drove the car to a ninth-place finish Aug. 19 at Michigan International Speedway, but it was found with illegally altered frame rails in a post-race inspection two days later at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.

On Aug. 22, NASCAR issued stiff penalties, including the loss of 25 driver points for Menard and 25 team owner points for Childress. Crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe was suspended six weeks and fined $100,000, while car chief Craig Smokstad and engineer Grant Hutchens also drew six-week suspensions.

On Sept. 5, the Childress team announced it would not appeal the points penalties or Labbe's fine and suspension. Barring a final appeal to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer, the suspensions of Smokstad and Hutchens are effective immediately.

All three crew members remain on probation until Dec. 31. Menard's long-shot hopes of qualifying as a wild card for the Chase for the Sprint Cup were extinguished after a 23rd-place finish Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.