Oct 22, 2008
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the No. 83 Red Bull Racing Team in the Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions found on Tuesday during a Martinsville post-race inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.
The car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-2.1-D (exterior sheet metal body parts did not meet the specified minimum thickness) of the 2008 NASCAR rule book.
As a result, both the crew chief, Kevin Hamlin, and the car chief, Craig Smokstad, have been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR. Additionally, Hamlin has been fined $100,000.
Driver Brian Vickers and owner Dietrich Mateschitz have been penalized with the loss of 150 driver and 150 owner points, respectively.
Oct 18, 2008
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- For the ninth time this season -- and for the third time in six races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup -- rain forced the cancellation of qualifying for a Cup event.
With time trials rained out Friday, and the grid set by owner points, Chase leader Jimmie Johnson will start from the pole in Sunday's Tums QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Second-place Jeff Burton will start beside Johnson on the outside of the front row.
After Brian Vickers finished 11th at the Tums QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway, the No. 83 Camry was selected as the random car to be further inspected at the NASCAR Technical Center in Concord, N.C., where sources told FOXSports.com that officials discovered the sheet metal on the No. 83 car did not meet the minimum thickness requirements.
According to sources familiar with the situation, the sides of the car — the doors, fenders and quarter panels — were too thin. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book states that teams must use a minimum of 24 gauge (0.025 inch thick) sheet steel for their car bodies. Also, the practice of "acid dipping or chemical milling," which makes the sheet metal thinner, is strictly forbidden.
One individual close to the situation said acid dipping would allow a fabricator to make the metal thinner. Once the steel is sanded and painted, it is nearly impossible for NASCAR to detect.