Big news came out of NASCAR on Wednesday. A three-person National Motorsports Appeals Panel overturned a penalty that docked DGM Racing 75 owner points and 75 points for driver Alex Labbe. It also overturned a $50,000 fine for team owner Mario Gosselin too.
Normally, big penalties like this don’t get altered.
Labbe, has 323 points entering Saturday’s race in Daytona and moves him back up 16th in standings. He’s chasing Brandon Brown who holds the final Xfinity Series playoff spot, 80 points ahead. He has eight races to make that up, but a win on the road course this weekend would automatically put him in though too. That’s why this penalty being overturned which to me seemed blantant, was so big.
See, they were initially penalized and fined because of an Aug. 4 SCCA event. Where this is wrong is, all levels of NASCAR will race on the road course for their first time this weekend. Without any practice allotted, this was going to be a big advantage for them. They would be the only ones with track time because Labbe was on the list for a 2019 Chevy Camaro for that SCCA event. The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro is the approved model for Chevy teams in the Xfinity Series.
NASCAR viewed that as an illegal test because of the car used. Section 5.1.a of the Xfinity rule book states: “Private vehicle testing by any race team, employee, contractor, affiliate, associate, subsidiary, or surrogate is strictly prohibited.”
Section 5.1.d of the Xfinity rule book states: “NASCAR, in its sole discretion, will determine in advance what constitutes an authorized test. In general, only tests conducted under the NASCAR National Series Unified Testing policy are considered to be authorized tests.”