NASCAR penalizes Tony Stewart, racing team

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So much for the afterglow of winning the big race Saturday night.

NASCAR disallowed the second-place qualifying time of Stewart when it was discovered the team had an open cooling hose in the cockpit, which is in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book); and 20-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). Instead of starting second, Stewart was forced to start 42nd.

Today, NASCAR further penalized the No. 14 team. Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Car chief Jeff Meendering has been placed on NASCAR probation until Aug. 22. Stewart and owner Margaret Haas have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and six championship owner points, respectively.

The following is a statement from Greg Zipadelli, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, regarding today’s penalty levied by NASCAR against the team’s No. 14 Sprint Cup Series entry driven by Tony Stewart for a post-qualifying rules infraction July 6 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

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“While we respect and accept NASCAR’s decision, we want to be clear that there was no malicious intent. In a rush to replace a cracked rear windshield that happened during tech inspection prior to qualifying, we jostled a cooling hose that was behind the seat. We understand NASCAR’s position and will abide by its decision.”

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