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Truex kicked out of Chase as part of NASCAR penalties against MWR (UPDATED)

Sep 9, 2013, 9:43 PM EDT

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NASCAR has dropped the hammer on Michael Waltrip Racing.

The Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer broke the news less than 20 minutes ahead of a scheduled NASCAR release that Martin Truex Jr., driver of MWR’s No. 56 NAPA Toyota, would be taken out of the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup with Ryan Newman, driver of Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet, promoted in.

Fryer explained on Twitter: “The reason Newman gets in is because after 50 point deduction for Truex, he fell below Newman’s point total and Newman was higher for WC.”

Additional penalties doled out include: a $300,000 fine issued to the team, with Truex, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers all being docked 50 points, and MWR Executive Vice President of Business Development and General Manager Ty Norris suspended indefinitely.

Bowyer intentionally spun to cause a caution with seven laps to go at Richmond. NASCAR took the step to investigate the caution and said it would have no further comment until the investigation was complete.

A NASCAR release will follow at 8 p.m. ET with a press conference in Charlotte scheduled with NASCAR President Mike Helton and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton to follow.

UPDATE, 8:05 P.M. ET: NASCAR has put out its release in full. It reads:

NASCAR has issued penalties to Michael Waltrip Racing following the sanctioning body’s review of Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway.

MWR was found to have violated Section 12-4 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing). As a result, MWR’s three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (No. 15, 55, 56) have been penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively.

These point penalties are assessed following the season’s 26th regular season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Therefore, the point total for the No. 56 car driven by Martin Truex Jr. is reduced to 691, putting him in 17th position and eliminating him from the second Wild Card berth for the Chase field. Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 car, now moves up into the Chase as the second Wild Card participant.

NASCAR has also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs – Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) – have all been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

“Based upon our review of Saturday night’s race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organization attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “As the sport’s sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that.”

UPDATE, 8:20 p.m. ET: We have a statement from Stewart-Haas Racing, attributed to Tony Stewart: “Obviously, we’re very pleased with #NASCAR’s decision to provide Newman’s rightful place in this year’s Chase. #NASCAR was put in a very difficult position Saturday night at Richmond and we commend the sanctioning body for taking the time to do the necessary due diligence to ensure that the right call was made.” #NASCAR

UPDATE, 8:55 p.m. ET: Michael Waltrip has tweeted, and basically threw Ty Norris under the bus. “This wasn’t a master plan or about a spin. It’s about a split-second decision made by Ty to try to help a teammate. I stand by my people,” Waltrip tweeted. OK, then.

UPDATE, 9:40 p.m. ET: Michael Waltrip Racing has released the following on the situation. But as you’ll notice from co-owner Michael Waltrip’s own statement, nothing is mentioned about Clint Bowyer or his late spin. Instead, the focus is on the No. 55 car’s role. Here it is:

CORNELIUS, N.C. – Michael Waltrip Racing accepts the penalties issued by NASCAR this evening and plans to move forward in the 2013 season.

Michael Waltrip, founder and co-owner of MWR:

“What occurred on the No. 55 radio at the end of Saturday night’s race in Richmond was a split-second decision made by team spotter Ty Norris to bring the No. 55 to pit lane and help a teammate earn a place in the Chase. We regret the decision and its impact. We apologize to NASCAR, our fellow competitors, partners and fans who were disappointed in our actions. We will learn from this and move on. As general manager, Ty Norris has been an integral part of Michael Waltrip Racing since its founding and has my and (co-owner) Rob Kauffman’s full support.”

  1. dan46778 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Finally NASCAR did the right thing

    • truex56jr - Sep 9, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Truex did nothing wrong. He’s never whined or cheated to make himself btr. If anything bowyer should be kicked out not truex.

  2. bmcgrath2 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Thank you so much for doing the right thing Mr. Helton.

    And thank you for dropping the hammer on MWR. They deserve it.

    • bmcgrath2 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      I also must say that NAPA is going to be furious. There will be MASSIVE sponsorship fallout from this. NAPA stuck by Michael Waltrip during embarrassing results at the start of his organization, NAPA stuck by him during the rocket fuel incident, but I would be very surprised if their relationship remains the same after this.

  3. packerpride03 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    So is bowyer points being docked before like truex? Because if it is the means nothing to him in the points standings for the chase

  4. rome3704 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    What happens to Gordon? With Truex out shouldn’t he move up 1 spot to from 11 to 10?

  5. mj3227 - Sep 9, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    Jeff Gordon still loses with this result….Clint Bowyer strikes again!

  6. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 9, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    That comment is funny as hell. MWR got exactly what they deserved! I haven’t cared for Michael since he left DEI after 2005. All of those tears shed on Saturday night are all for nothing. They should call this “SPINOUTGATE”

  7. Matthew - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    As much as I feel sorry for Martin Truex, Jr. getting bumped from the Chase for what happened Saturday night in Richmond, for once NASCAR made the right decision in removing Truex from the Chase and replacing him w/Ryan Newman.

  8. kitnamania13 - Sep 9, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Well, at least we’re halfway to the deserved outcome. the other half would be to boot Bowyer from the chase and give his spot to Gordon. But since that’s not going to happen, Jeff will have to get his revenge on the track.

  9. ryanwithegroup - Sep 10, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    Reblogged this on ryanwithegroup.

  10. bla bla bla - Sep 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    I didn’t reblog this anywhere.

  11. indyshepherd - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    NASCAR needs to take it one step further and freeze the field right before Clint Boyer’s spin. Then call the race results based on the drivers’ positions at that time. This way it’s fair for everyone involved, and J Gordon gets in as he deserved to.

    • bla bla bla - Sep 10, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      I hadn’t even thought of that, but that makes perfect sense. Probably too much sense for NASCAR. They sure seem to want Toyota to win a championship.

  12. noring4youstill - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Strike 2 Waltrip. Don’t forget about the funny fuel, wasn’t it. Bastard ha jet fuel or some shit

  13. rayburns - Sep 10, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Waltrip can’t even use the old ‘we’re a small organization so its the only way that we can win against the Roush’s and Hendrick’s and Penske’s” when you see Furniture World and their single car team make the Chase.

  14. jbanks27 - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    I think the penalties were too light. Nascar is faced with another situation, similar to the cable dropping on top of the track earlier in the year. You have teams of drivers attempting to manipulate the race. This is cheating any way that you slice it.

    The penalty should be for the teams – GO HOME!. Suspension for the remainder of the 2013 season. Probation for the 2014 season. Go explain to your sponsors and fans why you have no integrity. For the few drivers who got the bounces in and out of the chase as a result of these cheats… Expand the chase to include them and move on.

    Nascar should have as much tolerance for cheating as they would for drugs. Both are just as deadly to the sport.

  15. barkleyblows - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    What a joke!!! Anything to make fat ass Anthony Stewart happy.

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