Appeals committee upholds Daytona 500 penalties

Updated: March 5, 2007, 9:38 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An appeals committee upheld penalties levied against Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne after NASCAR caught their teams cheating at the Daytona 500.

The crew chiefs for both drivers were suspended four races and fined $50,000 each, while both drivers were docked 50 points.

Roush Fenway Racing appealed the severity of the fine against Robbie Reiser and the deduction of points from Kenseth, while Evernham Motorsports appealed only the docking of points from Kahne.

The deduction of points before the season started was unprecedented for NASCAR, which had been reluctant to have a team begin a season in negative standing.

In denying the appeals Monday, the three-judge panels agreed that the penalties assessed were "severe by the standards of a year or more ago." But NASCAR officials argued to the commission that they had warned teams last summer that penalties would be ramped up from previous benchmarks for serious violations.

In all, five teams were caught cheating during preparations for the season-opening 500.

Evernham also appealed the severity of the fines against Elliott Sadler and Scott Riggs, who were both docked 25 points. The commission has not ruled on that case yet.

Michael Waltrip's team did not appeal its penalties after it was caught using a fuel additive. Waltrip was docked 100 points, his crew chief was fined a record $100,000 and suspended indefinitely, along with Waltrip's competition director.

Kahne's appeal was heard by Russell Hackett, Cathy Rice and chairman George Silbermann. Kenseth's appeal was heard by Terry Eames, Richard Gore and Silbermann.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE