Daytona appeals to be heard next week

Updated: February 27, 2007, 2:47 PM ET
By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

Penalty appeals for four Nextel Cup teams accused of breaking NASCAR's equipment rules leading up to the Daytona 500 will be heard early next week, NASCAR officials told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

The appeals for Kasey Kahne's No. 9 team and Matt Kenseth's No. 17 team will be heard on March 5 in North Carolina. Appeals for Scott Riggs' No. 10 team and Elliott Sadler's No. 19 team will be heard the following day, also in North Carolina, NASCAR said.

Kahne's and Kenseth's teams were both docked 50 driver and owner points, fined $50,000 and handed four-week crew chief suspensions for Kenny Francis and Robbie Reiser respectively, for illegal aerodynamic modifications found in post-qualifying inspection at Daytona.

Riggs' and Sadler's teams were penalized 25 driver and owner points and fined $25,000 for unapproved modifications to the spoiler bolts found in pre-qualifying inspection at Daytona. Crew chiefs Rodney Childers and Josh Browne were also given two-week suspensions, which have already been served.

Ray Evernham, whose Evernham Motorsports operates the Kahne, Riggs and Sadler teams, told ESPN.com last week he sought only to recoup the points lost in the penalties. In a day when rules such as NASCAR's Top-35 rule guarantee teams a spot in the field, these points penalties are unfair, Evernham said.

Evernham said he respects that NASCAR must enforce its rules and he isn't challenging that his teams were too far in the gray area. He accepts the monetary fines and crew chief suspensions, but said the points are "awfully detrimental to the race team in this day and age."

Marty Smith covers Nextel Cup racing for ESPN.com.