(The Sports Xchange) - Ryan Newman is in and Martin Truex Jr. is out.
On Monday, NASCAR penalized Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) for manipulating the finish of Saturday’s race at Richmond, and the result gives Newman a spot in the Chase for the Cup that begins with Sunday’s race at Chicago.
Newman was leading Saturday night’s race with seven laps to go when Truex’s MWR teammate, Clint Bowyer, spun out to bring out a caution. Newman, who would have earned a spot in the Chase with a victory, lost the race and was shut out of the Chase. Instead, Truex earned the final Chase berth -- until Monday’s decision by NASCAR to dock Bowyer, Truex and Brian Vickers 50 points each.
MWR was judged to have violated Section 12-4 of the rules, actions detrimental to stock car racing.
NASCAR also fined MWR $300,000 and indefinitely suspended general manager Ty Norris. Bowyer’s crew chief, Brian Pattie; Vickers’ crew chief, Scott Miller; and Truex’s crew chief, Chad Johnston, were all placed on NASCAR probation through the end of the calendar year.
“I am proud that NASCAR took a stand with respect to what went on Saturday night at Richmond,” Newman said in a statement. “I know it was a tough decision to make. With that being said, myself, (crew chief) Matt Borland and this entire No. 39 team are looking forward to competing for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.”
NASCAR reviewed the race, according to multiple reports, and determined evidence suggested that Bowyer deliberately spun out to help Truex. Bowyer denied the charge.
There was also evidence pointing to Vickers’ involvement to help Truex make the Chase.
The in-car communication between Bowyer and his crew right before Bowyer spun to bring out the caution raised suspicion, too.
“Thirty-nine is going to win the race,” Bowyer was told over his radio.
“Is your arm starting to hurt?” Pattie asked. After a pause, Pattie said, “I bet it’s hot in there. Itch it.”
Bowyer’s car then spun.