NASCAR levied unprecedented penalties against Michael Waltrip Racing on Monday that resulted in driver Martin Truex Jr. being dropped from the Chase for the Cup title playoff and replaced by Ryan Newman.
The action stemmed from actions by MWR’s three-car Sprint Cup Series team at the end of the race Saturday at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, the final race that decided which 12 drivers qualified for NASCAR’s 10-race Chase.
MWR tried “to manipulate the outcome of the race,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, said in a statement. “As the sport’s sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field.” This was the first time in the 10 years of the Chase format that the driver field was altered on the eve of the contest because of penalties.
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