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The news keeps getting worse for Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Less than a week after officially cutting ties with the team founded by his late father, Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Tuesday was docked 100 driver points by NASCAR as a result of a pre-race inspection this past weekend at Darlington Raceway.

Earnhardt was not the only member of DEI to take a hit, as crew chief Tony Eury Jr. was fined $100,000 and suspended six weeks. The suspension applies to the next seven Nextel Cup Series races, including Saturday's NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge.

The penalties stem from last weekend's Dodge Avenger 500, a race where Earnhardt finished eighth.

But the racing superstar's Chevrolet Impala had illegal rear-wing mounts, an infraction discovered during an inspection Saturday night. It marked the first car-parts penalty involving the "Car of Tomorrow" - or COT - a newly designed, safety-oriented racer.

NASCAR levied additional penalties, placing Eury on probation until December 31 and docking DEI owner Teresa Earnhardt 100 owner points.

The news came five days after Earnhardt announced his decision to leave DEI after the season to join another team. DEI issued a written statement Tuesday which admitted the team's guilt but also questioned the severity of the penalties.

"The car in question was a brand new car for the No. 8 team, and the brackets that were found to be nonconforming were built as test pieces before the final design was established by NASCAR," the statement said. "They should not have been on the car and with Tony Eury Jr. away from the track Thursday during inspection, the error was not caught.

"We do not question the infraction, which is clearly spelled out in the NASCAR rule book. However, we have appealed the severity of the penalty."

NASCAR, however, sent a March 21 memo outlining penalties for specific infractions on the Car of Tomorrow and specifically listed fines of $100,000, points deductions and suspension.

The penalty knocked Earnhardt from 12th in the standings -- the final qualifying position for the Chase for the championship -- to 14th. He's now 721 points behind Nextel Cup leader Jeff Gordon, and 54 points out of Chase contention.

``The team is like a family and they are pretty resilient,'' Siegel said. ``I met with them all this morning and I didn't get any sense at all that anybody was freaking out. Everyone went into a 'What do we do now?' mode. It is what it is -- it was a mistake, and it's unfortunate. But we'll move on.''

NASCAR inspectors said Earnhardt's rear wing was improperly mounted when it was checked Saturday at Darlington. The brackets used to mount the piece were confiscated.

Eury, who has never had a major infraction during his seven years as a Cup crew chief, said the problem with the wing was not intentional. He said the brackets were an old set that had been used during a test session.

``It was kind of just a bad deal, a part that got on there that shouldn't have,'' he said. ``There was a lot of offseason testing for NASCAR. There's been like three different kinds of brackets on there and it just happened to be one of the old-style brackets.''

``It really wasn't that big of a deal,'' he added. ``It really didn't change anything.''

But NASCAR competition director Robin Pemberton said the infraction was blatant.

The car initially passed a pre-qualifying inspection, and when the wing did not pass the next day, it was removed for further examination. Once off the car, NASCAR discovered the brackets had been intentionally modified, Pemberton said.

``There is no doubt whatsoever,'' it was intentional, Pemberton said. ``We are very surprised and disappointed in Tony.''

Pemberton said the pieces will be on display in the NASCAR trailer all weekend for teams to examine.

The infraction was the first on the NASCAR-designed Car of Tomorrow, which has strict templates that leave little wiggle room for a crew chief. The severity of the penalty was NASCAR's way of informing teams it will not permit any alterations to the COT.

``We communicated to the teams earlier in the year that any modifications to these parts that had already been certified would be dealt with severely,'' Pemberton said.

It also follows a season-long crackdown on cheating that began at the Daytona 500, when NASCAR caught five teams breaking the rules. Six crew members were suspended and Michael Waltrip's crew chief was fined $100,000 -- the largest monetary fine in series history.

Now Eury has matched it, and Earnhardt said after his eighth-place finish Sunday he would cover any fine his cousin received.

``Whatever he needs me to do,'' Earnhardt said.

This is the most significant penalty Earnhardt and his team have received. He was docked 25 points and fined $10,000 for cursing during a TV interview after a win at Talladega in 2004. That deduction knocked him out of the points lead. It was the last time Earnhardt has seriously challenged for the championship.
 

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All I can say to this is NASCAR "BEWARE!!" Beware that if you continue docking teams and letting Hendricks slide you will lose intrest in a lot of Nascar fans. Beware that you are very inconsistant with your rulings and the fans are not going to keep putting up with this. Beware that you monopoly on this sport whether it be From diecast to clothing to the cars that you want these drivers to drive is being closely monitored by so many yet you continue to venture away from what so many fans want. I may be wrong but if NASCAR continues running it's business the way it has over the last couple of years we all may see the end of the tunnel when it comes to the most fan based sport in America. This is not a sport to show favortism. It will only prove that the race car fan is that a fan of what he or she likes and continueing down this road is sure to indanger the sport as we the fan have grown to love............
 

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Yeah its NASCAR fault that the Hendrick Motorsports is a good team, and Junior and DEI cheats. Yeah its an outrage to fine ******* Jesus, now NASCAR will suffer a plague of thrown beer cans. :rollseyes:
 

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Actually NASCAR Officials said that the first team to try and take advantage of the COT they would make an example of them with a pretty hefty fine and there you have it.
 

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Seems like they made the statement alright. I guess the silver lining is that Eury Jr didn't get sent home for 4 weeks.
 

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harsh94 said:
Seems like they made the statement alright. I guess the silver lining is that Eury Jr didn't get sent home for 4 weeks.
you're right, he is sent home for 6 weeks.
 

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I still want to know why Jimmie Johnson didn't lose any point last year when he was caught cheating at Daytona. Oh wait, I know....
 

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kspool said:
I still want to know why Jimmie Johnson didn't lose any point last year when he was caught cheating at Daytona. Oh wait, I know....
Explanation of why no points penalty for #48: Examples:
Points penalty
Last March at Las Vegas, #29 crew chief Todd Berrier welded the fuel filler so it looked like it was full of fuel when it wasn't.
Two weeks ago at Daytona, the Hall of Fame Racing's #96 car qualified with an unapproved carburetor.
According to NASCAR, those two infractions warranted not only a fine but a reduction of 25 driver and owner points because the fuel filler and the carburetor were absolutely unapproved parts. NASCAR was able to walk over to the car and confiscate those pieces, and their use was premeditated. The pieces were specifically made to skirt NASCAR's rules.
No points penalty
Last fall during qualifying at Talladega, Berrier and the #29 team had some trap doors in the trunk that weren't properly sealed off. The shocks were open when they were supposed to be closed. And some hose clamp that holds the fuel-filler pipe in place came loose. The next thing you know, Kevin Harvick's car had air underneath the car, going up through the trunk and escaping out a hole in the back of the tail light. In that instance, no unapproved parts or pieces were used.
During Daytona 500 qualifying this year, crew chief Chad Knaus and the #48 team put a sleeve over the trackbar adjuster. Like the #29 car at Talladega last fall, all of those parts and pieces were still part of the car that they raced in the Daytona 500.
so....Points penalty: In simple terms, here's the pattern. If you maliciously put something on a car that's made or machined, and it's an unapproved piece that can be confiscated, the team will be fined, the crew chief will be suspended and the driver and owner will lose 25 points.
No points penalty: If you take something that's already on the car and use it to beat the spirit of the rule, then it warrants a suspension and a fine, but it does not warrant the loss of 25 driver and owner points. See Larry McReynolds full article at FoxSports.(2-23-2006)
 

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KK3869 said:
kspool said:
I still want to know why Jimmie Johnson didn't lose any point last year when he was caught cheating at Daytona. Oh wait, I know....
Explanation of why no points penalty for #48: Examples:
Points penalty
Last March at Las Vegas, #29 crew chief Todd Berrier welded the fuel filler so it looked like it was full of fuel when it wasn't.
Two weeks ago at Daytona, the Hall of Fame Racing's #96 car qualified with an unapproved carburetor.
According to NASCAR, those two infractions warranted not only a fine but a reduction of 25 driver and owner points because the fuel filler and the carburetor were absolutely unapproved parts. NASCAR was able to walk over to the car and confiscate those pieces, and their use was premeditated. The pieces were specifically made to skirt NASCAR's rules.
No points penalty
Last fall during qualifying at Talladega, Berrier and the #29 team had some trap doors in the trunk that weren't properly sealed off. The shocks were open when they were supposed to be closed. And some hose clamp that holds the fuel-filler pipe in place came loose. The next thing you know, Kevin Harvick's car had air underneath the car, going up through the trunk and escaping out a hole in the back of the tail light. In that instance, no unapproved parts or pieces were used.
During Daytona 500 qualifying this year, crew chief Chad Knaus and the #48 team put a sleeve over the trackbar adjuster. Like the #29 car at Talladega last fall, all of those parts and pieces were still part of the car that they raced in the Daytona 500.
so....Points penalty: In simple terms, here's the pattern. If you maliciously put something on a car that's made or machined, and it's an unapproved piece that can be confiscated, the team will be fined, the crew chief will be suspended and the driver and owner will lose 25 points.
No points penalty: If you take something that's already on the car and use it to beat the spirit of the rule, then it warrants a suspension and a fine, but it does not warrant the loss of 25 driver and owner points. See Larry McReynolds full article at FoxSports.(2-23-2006)
So what is basically being said is if you run for a Hendricks team you are have a differnet set of rules to follow than the rest of the teams!! :duheehee:
 

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This did seem like a harsh penalty. I guess NASCAR thought they could nip it in the bud if they came out with a strong punishment for the first infraction with their precious COT.
 

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dodgerblue38501 said:
This did seem like a harsh penalty. I guess NASCAR thought they could nip it in the bud if they came out with a strong punishment for the first infraction with their precious COT.
Well they gave them fair warning when it it first came out that if any team got caught try to screw around with the carthey were going to come down harsh.

And now I leave you with a comic:

 

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I agree with the fine, but you have to make the fine EQUALLY among the rest!!!! Enough, with the HENDRICK FAVORITISM!!!!
 
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