Penalty for failed inspection drops Edwards to sixth in Chase; he'll appeal


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carl Edwards was docked 25 points Tuesday
because his race-winning car failed inspection at Dover
International Raceway.

The penalty drops Edwards from third in the Chase for the
championship standings to sixth. He's now 28 points behind series
leader Jeff Gordon.

Team owner Jack Roush, who celebrated his 100th win Sunday with
Edwards' victory, also was docked 25 owner points and crew chief
Bob Osborne was fined $25,000.

Edwards' No. 99 Ford was deemed to be too low following
post-race inspection. Although NASCAR determined the height
infraction was not intentional, the team still was penalized in
accordance with NASCAR's strict inspection policy.

Edwards has maintained that the car being low would not have
helped him win the race, suggesting his Ford likely shifted when
teammate Greg Biffle gave him a congratulatory post-race bump.

Kyle Busch and Johnny Sauter received similar penalties when
their cars failed inspection following the July race at New
Hampshire. Tony Stewart's car was too low following last week's
race in New Hampshire, but NASCAR ruled it was caused by race

Roush officials said the team would appeal.

"We have the misfortune of violating a rule which makes no
sense," said team president Geoff Smith. "I say misfortune
because we are being penalized for a violation that actually
impaired the car's performance."

Smith said the team also objected to the 25-point deduction,
because it deems it too steep a penalty for a driver competing in
the Chase.

"What is unfair is that Carl is receiving a penalty that is 250
percent greater in its effect than a similarly assessed penalty
against a non-Chase driver," Smith said. "Chase drivers are
competing for a total of 1,950 points [in 10 Chase races]. All
drivers competed for 5,070 points in the first 26 races. Do the
math. The net effect is that a 25 point penalty falls unfairly hard
on a Chase contender.

"That's simply not right. To equalize the penalty impact on all
competitors, not more than 10 points should have been taken from a
Chase contender."

Edwards dominated the second half of Sunday's race to score his
third victory of the season. The win lofted him thick into the
title hunt, just three points behind Gordon. Now he heads to Kansas
Speedway mired in the middle of the cluttered standings.

The top six drivers are separated by 28 points.