NASCAR replaced Martin Truex, Jr. with Ryan Newman in the Chase for the Cup as part of the penalties levied against Michael Waltrip Racing for allegedly trying to manipulate the outcome of the Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond on Saturday night.
Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000, general manager Ty Norris was handed an indefinite suspension, and Truex, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers were penalized 50 driver’s points apiece.
With Newman leading the late stages of a race eventually won by Carl Edwards, Bowyer spun out to force a caution flag, eventually leading to Newman falling off the pace, and Truex earned the last of the 12 Chase slots.
Bowyer’s penalty will not knock him out of the Chase, but the outcome of the Richmond race did keep out Jeff Gordon.
NASCAR president Mike Helton says the penalties were levied to send a message that the organization would not allow the manipulations of their events by drivers and racing teams.