Illegal wing brackets on No. 8 car could mean penalty

Updated: May 12, 2007, 7:21 PM ET
By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- The bad news continues for the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. team.

During pre-race inspection Saturday at Darlington Raceway, the No. 8 Chevy was found to have illegal brackets used to mount the rear wing on the Nextel Cup Series' new Car of Tomorrow, an infraction series director John Darby said could result in the first COT penalty.

Officials forced the team to remove the brackets, then reattach the wing with a proper set.

"We have specific blueprints for all the parts on the car," Darby said. "[Series officials] are a little sensitive to those parameters."

Asked if doctoring the rear wing on the COT is a substantial no-no, Darby responded, "Yes."

The infraction will not affect Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s starting position for Saturday's rain-delayed Dodge Avenger 500, Darby said.

Darby said he plans to speak with No. 8 crew chief Tony Eury Jr. further next week.

Marty Smith is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. He can be reached at ESPNsider@aol.com.