NASCAR Notes: Bowyer, RCR On Defensive

SOLIDARITY: Clint Bowyer (33) leads Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick during Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) Int'l Speedway. (HHP/Brian Lawdermilk Photo)

SOLIDARITY: Clint Bowyer (33) leads Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick during Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) Int’l Speedway. (HHP/Brian Lawdermilk Photo)

DOVER, Del. — On Friday at Dover Int’l Speedway, Richard Childress and Clint Bowyer emphatically defended the No. 33 BB&T Chevrolet team penalized after failing a post-race inspection after the Sept. 19 Syl-vania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The team will appear before the NASCAR appeals committee today (Sept. 29).

While Bowyer’s car passed initial post-race inspection at NHMS, it was transported to the NASCAR R&D center in Concord, N.C., and failed follow-up inspection per sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-3 (car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis did not meet NASCAR-approved specifications) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.

Bowyer was docked 150 driver’s points and Childress lost 150 owner’s points. Crew Chief Shane Wilson and Car Chief Chad Haney also were each suspended six races and placed on probation through Dec. 31. Wilson was fined $150,000.

Both Childress and Bowyer cited a push to victory lane from a tow truck as the reason the rear of the car was beyond the tolerance allowed.

“I’m angry about the whole thing,” Bowyer said. “This tarnished my win. It’s something you’re very proud of. I’m very angry about it. I’m angry for my fans, for our sponsors.”

Childress cited the history at his Richard Childress Racing team to stay within the rules.

“I hope the integrity that RCR and Richard Childress has built up over the 40-plus years in this sport…We wouldn’t be…and I will use the words dumb enough, stupid enough to bring a car to the race track that we know is out of the tolerances.”

Wilson continued in his role as crew chief at Dover because the case is being appealed.

– Roush Fenway Racing named Drew Blickensderfer crew chief for David Ragan and the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion. Blickensderfer had been the crew chief for Roush Fenway driver Carl Edward’s No. 60 Nationwide Series Ford.

“We have nine races left to basically see how our off-season was going to be,” Ragan said of the switch. “To mix things up like this and bring Drew in, he’s got a different background, he’s worked with some different drivers in our company, so just see what his opinion is on things, his opinion on me as a driver and what I can do to our race cars, to our team, to our pit crew.”

Mike Beam will replace Blickensderfer as crew chief of the No. 60 team. Beam served as director of competition for Roush Fenway’s Nationwide Series program.

– Sunday’s race marked the 12th anniversary of Roush Fenway driver Matt Kenseth’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Dover Int’l Speedway. Kenseth substituted for Bill Elliott during the MBNA Gold 400 and finished sixth. Kenseth finished 18th in Sunday’s AAA 400.

Kenseth locked up his brakes as he slid his No. 17 Crown Royal Ford past the commitment cone attempting to enter pit road. As he circled the track to get back to pit road, his left front tire blew, bringing out the race’s third caution on lap 189.

– A loose caution-light cover caused the first caution of the day on lap 37.

– Ryan Newman and David Reutimann made contact on lap 51, sending the No. 00 Toyota into the wall. The accident destroyed the rightside of the Aaron’s Dream Machine. Reutimann finished 35th, 27 laps down