Appeal in Carl Long Case Denied
The National Stock Car Racing Commission announced Tuesday that the major penalties levied by NASCAR on the Sprint Cup team of Carl Long would stand.
Those penalties included:
* A loss of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner Points; suspension from 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for owner, Danielle Long.
* A loss of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver Points; suspension from 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for driver, Carl Long
* A $200,000 fine; suspension from the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events; suspension from NASCAR until August 18, 2009; and probation until December 31, 2009 for crew chief, Charles Swing.
However, the commission did rule: in each of the three Penalty Notices, the statement that reads “Suspended from NASCAR until August 18, 2009” shall be rescinded.
Long’s car was found to have an engine displacement slightly larger than the 358 cubic inches mandated by NASCAR in an inspection at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 16.
A statement issued the by commission read:
“The Appellants did not contest that the engine was oversized. They argued that the engine had been supplied by a third party and that the infraction may have been due to an error on the part of that supplier, or to expansion due to overheating, or to general wear and tear on the engine. The Appellants further argued that they are a very low budget team incapable of bearing suspensions and a fine of this magnitude.
“The NASCAR representative argued that NASCAR has and continues to consider an oversized engine to be one of the most egregious of rules violations, warranting the harshest of penalties. The last penalty notices issued in NASCAR’s top series for an oversized engine were in 1991 and included 12-race suspensions in the series and a sizeable fine for its day.
“The Commission reaffirms that the race team is ultimately responsible for all components on the race car, including any supplied by third-party vendors.
The Commission notes that during the hearing, the driver expressed a strong love of racing and a desire to compete at the highest levels of the sport. His testimony came across as genuine and heartfelt.
“While it is tempting to consider penalties that this driver and team can more-readily bear, the sport would not be well served by having a sliding scale of penalties calibrated to a given team or member’s resources. Penalties of this magnitude for this type of infraction are warranted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.No Comment