Kaulig Racing won their appeal on Tuesday which gives them back all 100 championship points as well as their 10 playoff points in return as well. That was part of the Final Appeals Officers ruling on Tuesday which was to amend the L-2 penalties to the team.
Kaulig originally was penalized 100 driver points, 10 playoff points and the four-race suspension for crew chief Trent Owens from the Phoenix louvers infraction.
They appealed. A week prior to their appeal, Hendrick Motorsports, who had the same exact penalty, got to get all of their points back. The only standing penalty was the four race crew chief suspensions.
Kaulig didn’t have the same fate. The panel that day only gave them 25 points back. They decided to appeal that ruling to the final appeals officer.
The Final Appeals Officer for this meeting was Bill Mullis.
“In the interest of fairness, NASCAR has requested that I remove the driver/owner race and playoff points from the penalty to Kaulig Racing,” said Mullis. “I have agreed to this request, per the Rule Book. During its opening remarks, NASCAR stated it believes that the violations did occur, the penalties were appropriate and the three-person appeals panel ruled correctly. But, because the Kaulig infraction closely mirrored that of Hendrick Motorsports (modified louver at Phoenix Raceway), NASCAR requested I rule in the same manner as the three-person appeals panel following the Hendrick Motorsports appeal on March 29. The information I heard in the room this morning created an overwhelming and unique circumstance. In fairness to the team and sanctioning body, as NASCAR documented in its remarks, this request is fully in the interest of fairness and consistency, and I agree.”
NASCAR released a statement following the ruling.
“NASCAR believes that Kaulig Racing committed the violations documented in the penalty notice, that the penalties were appropriate and that the three-person appeals panel ruled correctly when hearing the Kaulig appeal on April 5. However, in the interest of treating all competitors fairly, NASCAR today requested that the Final Appeals Officer remove the race and playoff points from the penalty. The Kaulig and Hendrick Motorsports violations involved the same modified part found during the same race weekend (modified louver at Phoenix Raceway), and with fairness and consistency top of mind, NASCAR requested that the FAO match the final Hendrick Motorsports penalty. NASCAR believes that the updates made to the Rule Book will address similar issues in the future and keep its promise to the owners for strict penalties when single-source parts are modified. We are pleased with the swift resolution to today’s appeal, appreciate Bill Mullis’ ruling and now look forward to this weekend’s events at Talladega Superspeedway.”
In the initial penalty report, the following sections of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book were cited: Sections 10.5.1.A Guiding Principles Relative to Penalties; 14.1 C&D&Q Overall Assembled Vehicle Rules; 220.127.116.11.A Radiator Duct.
This is big for Kaulig and NASCAR in the fact that the gray area is gone and the penalties match now.