September 13, 2014 – By RaceChaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker –
NASCAR officials announced at a press conference this afternoon that after thorough review of both the incidents surrounding Michael Waltrip Racing and those which surrounded Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing, Jeff Gordon has been added to the Chase as a 13th driver and punishments have been decided for both Penske and Front Row Motorsports.
Here is the verbage from the official NASCAR release:
…Following a comprehensive review of all available audio and video communications from last Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, along with interviews with team personnel, NASCAR announced Friday the following decision:
- · Both the Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing).
- · A 13th car – the No. 24 – would be added to this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
“Based on all of our findings this week, we determined both Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing organizations would be placed on probation for the remainder of this season,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Additionally, based upon the totality of our findings, to be fair and equitable we decided that adding a 13th car to this year’s Chase is the appropriate action.
“Beginning with our decision Monday, which resulted in an unprecedented team penalty, and continuing with further examination of actions involving two other race teams, it is clear to us that attempts to manipulate the results impacted the Chase field.
“The integrity of our sport remains the cornerstone of NASCAR, and our actions this week speak to our commitment to ensure a level playing field for all competitors.”
Additionally, NASCAR will conduct a mandatory meeting with drivers, owners, crew chiefs and other team personnel tomorrow to address this issue moving forward.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/NASCAR