Kaulig Racing’s 100-point penalty suspended by NASCAR ‘for treating all competitors fairly’

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Kaulig Racing and Justin Haley are now facing a 100-point penalty from NASCAR for parts violations at Phoenix.

The team had made a final appeal to have the penalty removed after an appeals panel ruled two weeks ago that Kaulig’s penalty should stand in its entirety. The appeals panel working the Kaulig Racing case upheld the team’s total penalty a week after a different appeals panel removed a 100-point penalty for each of Hendrick Motorsports’ four cars for the same hood louver breakage found on Haley’s car No. 31 at Phoenix in March.

NASCAR said Tuesday it had asked final appeals official Bill Mullis to suspend Kaulig’s points penalty to force him to simulate Hendrick’s penalty for fairness.

“NASCAR believes that Kaulig Racing committed the violations listed in the penalty notice, that the penalties were appropriate and that the three-person appeals panel ruled correctly when it heard Kaulig’s appeal on April 5,” it said. NASCAR in a statement. “However, in order to treat all competitors fairly, NASCAR requested today that the final appeals official 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 and with fairness and consistency in mind, NASCAR requested that the FAO match the penalty Hendrick Motorsports final. NASCAR believes that the updates made to the rule book will address similar issues in the future and uphold the promise to owners of stiff penalties when single-source parts are changed. “

Kaulig said he was “pleased” with the ruling and the request.

In addition to a 100-point penalty, Haley also faced a 10-point playoff loss if he qualified for the postseason. That 10-point playoff penalty was also removed from Hendrick’s four cars by his appeals panel.

Hendrick’s appeals panel upheld the $100,000 fine and four-race team principal suspensions for each car intact, however. Kaulig still has the fine and the team leader’s suspension.

Shortly after Hendrick’s ruling, NASCAR updated its rulebook to prevent appeals panels from removing part of a penalty entirely as the Hendrick appeals panel did. Appeal panels can reduce penalties or reverse them in full, but they can no longer reverse part of a penalty.

The reinstatement of the 100-point penalty means that Haley moves from 32nd in the standings to 24th and now has 170 points.

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 24: Justin Haley (#31 Kaulig Racing Celsius Chevrolet) flies through turn 15 during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on March 24, 2023 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Justin Haley is now 24th in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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