Martin Truex Jr. Kicked Out of Sprint Chase, Replaced by Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman will take the 12th and final slot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, after NASCAR handed down severe penalties to Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip Racing and MWR's executive vice president, Ty Norris.
On Saturday night at Richmond International Speedway, Newman was leading the Federated Auto Parts 400 with just seven laps to go. Clint Bowyer, a member of MWR, spun out, which eventually led to Newman's losing the lead and, as a result, finishing just out of the Chase and Truex Jr. taking the 12th spot. NASCAR reviewed video and audio evidence of the race and determined that Bowyer's spinout was a deliberate attempt to manipulate the outcome of the race and, thus, the final Chase standings.
Bowyer, Truex Jr. and Brian Vickers, all members of Michael Waltrip Racing, were docked 50 points each, which dropped Truex Jr. out of the top 12. Newman now sits in the position he would have been in had the race continued as it was going, prior to the spinout.
NASCAR also fined MWR a record $300,000 and suspended Norris indefinitely. Norris made the decision to set the chain of events in motion.
Michael Waltrip Racing will not appeal any of the penalties. After learning about the punishment, Waltrip released a statement saying, "We regret the decision and its impact. We apologize to NASCAR, our fellow competitors, partners and fans who were disappointed in our actions."
Newman, obviously pleased with the revised standings, said, "I am proud that NASCAR took a stand with respect to what went on Saturday night at Richmond. I know it was a tough decision to make."