Kaulig gets points back after latest Phoenix appeal

Gavin Baker/Motorsport Images

Kaulig gets points back after latest Phoenix appeal


Kaulig gets points back after latest Phoenix appeal


Kaulig Racing was given its 100 championship points and 10 playoff points back on Tuesday after its final appeal for the penalty for the modified hood louvers on the No. 31 Chevrolet of Justin Haley.

In acknowledging the rules were violated, the penalty for Kaulig Racing was amended to be the same as that of Hendrick Motorsports. It came at the request of NASCAR.

“In the interest of fairness, NASCAR has requested that I remove the driver/owner race and playoff points from the penalty to Kaulig Racing,” said final appeals officer Bill Mullis. “I have agreed to this request, per the rule book. During its opening remarks, NASCAR stated it believes that the violations did occur, the penalties were appropriate, and the three-person appeals panel ruled correctly.

“But, because the Kaulig infraction closely mirrored that of Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR requested I rule in the same manner as the three-person appeals panel following the Hendrick Motorsports appeal on March 29. The information I heard in the room this morning created an overwhelming and unique circumstance.

“In fairness to the team and sanctioning body, as NASCAR documented in its remarks, this request is fully in the interest of fairness and consistency, and I agree.”

Both organizations were penalized after the race at Phoenix Raceway in early March for modified hood louvers. On appeal, Hendrick Motorsports had its points rescinded for all four teams while the four-race suspension of the crew chief stood, as well as the $100,000 fine.

Kaulig Racing initially had 25 points given back on its first appeal. During the final appeal, NASCAR officials wanted to ensure the same penalty was given across the board to its competitors, which led to the request.

A statement from NASCAR read, “NASCAR believes that Kaulig Racing committed the violations documented in the penalty notice, that the penalties were appropriate and that the three-person appeals panel ruled correctly when hearing the Kaulig appeal on April 5.

“However, in the interest of treating all competitors fairly, NASCAR today requested that the Final Appeals Officer remove the race and playoff points from the penalty. The Kaulig and Hendrick Motorsports violations involved the same modified part found during the same race weekend (modified louver at Phoenix Raceway), and with fairness and consistency top of mind, NASCAR requested that the FAO match the final Hendrick Motorsports penalty.

“NASCAR believes that the updates made to the rule book will address similar issues in the future and keep its promise to the owners for strict penalties when single-source parts are modified. We are pleased with the swift resolution to today’s appeal, appreciate Bill Mullis’ ruling and now look forward to this weekend’s events at Talladega Superspeedway.”