All four Hendrick Motorsports teams were given their points back Wednesday afternoon as the National Motorsports Appeals Panel amended the L2-level penalty handed out earlier this month.
In the amendment, the teams were given back the 100 points and 10 playoff points NASCAR had docked them for the modified hood louvers found at Phoenix Raceway. However, the panel agreed the organization violated the rules, and the four-race suspensions to each crew chief stand, as do the $100,000 fines for Cliff Daniels, Rudy Fugle, Alan Gustafson, and Blake Harris.
The panel consisted of Kelly Housby, Dixon Johnston and Bill Lester.
There are two race weekends left on their suspensions — Richmond Raceway and Bristol’s dirt race. All four crew chiefs began their suspension at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 19, even as Hendrick Motorsports file an appeal of the penalty.
Daniels, Fugle, Gustafson, and Harris are eligible to run at Martinsville Speedway on April 16.
NASCAR confiscated the louvers after Friday’s practice at Phoenix. Officials deemed the louvers had been modified outside the tolerances.
Hendrick Motorsports, however, said the team did what was necessary to make the louvers fit. Chad Knaus, the vice president of competition at Hendrick Motorsports, said teams are being held accountable with their cars but the same is not being done with the single-source suppliers who are not providing parts to the correct specification.
“We are grateful to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel for their time and attention,” said team owner Rick Hendrick. “Today’s outcome reflects the facts, and we’re pleased the panel did the right thing by overturning the points penalty. It validated our concerns regarding unclear communication and other issues we raised. We look forward to focusing on the rest of our season, beginning with this weekend’s race at Richmond.”
In a statement, NASCAR expressed disappointment with the panel’s decision to amend the penalties.
“We are pleased that the National Motorsports Appeals Panel agreed that Hendrick Motorsports violated the rule book. However, we are disappointed that the entirety of the penalty was not upheld,” the statement read. “A points penalty is a strong deterrent that is necessary to govern the garage following rule book violations, and we believe that it was an important part of the penalty in this case and moving forward. We will continue to inspect and officiate the NASCAR garage at the highest level of scrutiny to ensure a fair and level playing field for our fans and the entire garage.”