Monday, December 20, 2010

The Sixth NASCAR Day of Christmas: Six Weeks Suspension

Bowyer went from one to done after his car failed
inspection post-Loudon.
In NASCAR,  fortune can turn on a dime.

And no team knows that better than the No. 33 team of Clint Bowyer.

The Richard Childress Racing team went from the highest of highs (winning the first race of the Chase at Loudon) to the lowest of lows (failing inspection and getting docked 150 points).

Per the official NASCAR press release:

"The No. 33 team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-3 (car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis did not meet NASCAR-approved specifications) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book."

In addition to the points deficit, crew chief Shane Wilson was suspended for six weeks for the infraction and put on probabation until Dec. 31.

The stiff penalty effectively turned Bowyer and team from a possible championship contender into just another also-ran.

And although Richard Childress fought the judgment with his infamous wrecker defense, NASCAR capitulated not.  The ruling stood.

But you gotta give credit to Bowyer. After his initial impassioned response, the driver didn't waste time crying over lost points. 

Instead, he pulled off a second-place result at Fontana, and went on to win Talladega in a virtual photo finish.

And while dwelling on "could have beens" is often an exercise in futility, I can't help but wonder how Bowyer and Wilson's season would have ended had the penalty never been incurred.

Something tells me they would have finished a heckuva lot better than tenth.

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