Edwards hit with penalty, loses lead in Cup standings

Docked 100 points for infractions following Las Vegas

By Official Release
March 5, 2008

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the No. 99 team that competes in the Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions found at Las Vegas.

The No. 99 car driven by Carl Edwards was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-2.1J (any device or duct work that permits air to pass from one area of the interior of the car to another, or to the outside of the car, will not be permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, the inside of the car to the trunk area, or the floors, firewalls, crush panels and wheel wells passing air into or out of the car) of the 2008 NASCAR rulebook. The violations were found during post-race inspection at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 2

Inspectors found that the cover of the oil reservoir encasement mounted behind the driver's seat was off, a circumstance that constitutes an unauthorized aerodynamic modification. NASCAR rules require that the cover be bolted securely to the encasement.

As a result, Edwards and car owner Jack Roush have been penalized 100 championship driver and 100 championship owner points, respectively. In the event the No. 99 team qualifies for the Chase, the team will not receive the 10 bonus points for the UAW-Dodge 400 victory used for determining the seeding order.

Also, crew chief Bob Osborne has been fined $100,000, suspended from the next six Cup Series events, suspended from NASCAR until April 30 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

The 100-point penalty drops Edwards from first to seventh in the Cup standings.

Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith issued a statement Wednesdsay evening addressing the penalty:

"The bolt holding the lid in place failed in its purpose as a result of vibration harmonics generated by the car and the race track during the race. The bolt was secure enough to survive 225 miles of practice, perhaps up to 399 of 400 miles of the race and the scrutiny of numerous inspections.

"It's a tough business for any race team to have to pledge $100,000, 100 points and a six-race crew chief suspension as an indemnity payment to NASCAR against a promise forced from us by NASCAR that no bolt will ever fail its purpose under race conditions. We are currently evaluating whether or not the circumstances justify submitting to the unpleasantness of the appeal process, but from a competitive standpoint, we believe it is in our best interest to have Bob Osborne begin serving the penalty now. Chris Andrews, our chief engineer, will be at the track on Friday and Saturday to lead the No. 99 team and general manager Robbie Reiser will join Chris on the pit box Sunday during the race.

"We are confident that we have the depth of talent in our organization and the strength in Carl Edwards and the No. 99 team to overcome this penalty, should that end up being the final outcome of this unhappy episode."