National Motorsports Appeals Panel Statement



National Motorsports Appeals Panel Statement 

(April 14, 2015) 

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P4 penalty issued on March 25, 2015 to Joseph Falk (owner) and Richard Labbe (crew chief), relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #33 at Auto Club Speedway. 

The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:

12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;

20.14.2: Rear Suspension: Truck Trailing Arm

  1. The left and right side truck trailing arms must be mounted to the truck trailing arm mounting brackets using a one-piece, minimum ¾ inch diameter magnetic steel bolt.
  2. The horizontal centerline of the highest truck trailing arm mounting bolt must not be higher than the top surface of the truck trailing arm crossmember, at the respective truck trailing arm mounting bracket, when the vehicle is at inspection orientation.

INFRACTION: The ¾ inch diameter magnetic steel truck trailing arm mounting bolt was not installed horizontally.

J.Truck trailing arm must conform to the following drawing as specified in the NASCAR rule book: Rear Suspension-Truck Trailing Arm: A-008-00183-14 Rev.C

INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm monoball sleeve does not meet the drawing specifications. Sleeve is required to be minimum .125 inch minimum thick x two inches wide sleeve machined for press fit of .750 I.D. or .875 I.D. monoball assembly. Truck Trailing Arm Crossmember Assembly:Truck Trailing Arm Mounting Brackets

  1. Truck trailing arm mounting brackets must be constructed of magnetic steel flat plate with a minimum thickness of 0.169 inch.

INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm mounting bracket adapter was machined from Aluminum solid.

20.20: Assembled Vehicle Overall Rules

  1. A. Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR rules, installation of additional components and/or modifications of existing components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle will not be permitted, including but not limited to, safety systems, chassis and roll cage, suspension, steering systems, brake systems, heat shields, body fillers, body sealers, filler panels, drivetrain components and exhaust components

The original penalty assessed included a $50,000 fine, three-race suspension and probation through Dec. 31 to Labbe and the loss of 25 championship car owner points to Falk.

The Appellants (Joseph Falk and Richard Labbe) appealed both penalties.

Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:

  • The Appellants violated one of the rules set forth in the penalty notice, specifically with regards to the aluminum component, but that the other infractions are subject to interpretation.
  • The panel amends the original penalty levied by NASCAR to a P2 penalty as follows:

o    Loss of 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship car owner points for Joseph Falk

o    $20,000 fine, three-race suspension (two of which have already been served) plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that time period, and probation through Dec. 31 for crew chief Richard Labbe.

The panel consisted of the following three individuals:

Mr. Russell Hackett

Mr. Lake Speed

Mr. John White

The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR rule book.