“It’s obvious that we’ve ramped up our penalties and we’re going to get people’s attention,” competition director Robin Pemberton said. “We’re going to grab this one by the horns.” Robbie Reiser, crew chief for Kenseth, and Kenny Francis, crew chief for Kahne, were suspended four races. Rodney Childers, crew chief for Riggs, and Josh Brown, crew chief for Sadler, were suspended two races. Kahne, Riggs and Sadler are teammates at Evernham Motorsports. Kenseth, the 2003 series champion and runner-up last season, drives for Roush Racing. All four crew chiefs can appeal, a process that could allow them to work the Great American Race. If they do and the committee cannot schedule a hearing before Sunday’s race, they would be allowed to participate. But Roush Racing already has a replacement for Reiser and said the 500 will be the first race he has missed since the team’s inception in 1999, a stretch of 255 races. Reiser and Francis may not appeal because delaying the suspension could cause them to miss the debut of the Car of Tomorrow at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. In toughening its penalties, NASCAR made the unprecedented move of taking points away before the season has even started. Kahne and Kenseth were docked 50 points apiece, while Riggs and Sadler lost 25 each. Reiser and Francis also were fined $50,000 each, while Childers and Brown were fined $25,000 each. All four drivers will start the season with negative points in a move that most likely infuriated the teams but sent a strong message that NASCAR will not tolerate rule-breakers. Kenseth and Kahne had their qualifying times thrown out after inspectors discovered illegal holes in the wheel wells, which could have improved aerodynamics. Evernham maintained the holes had been covered with duct tape that apparently fell off before the Dodge was inspected. But Pemberton said NASCAR believed the tape had been cut. Riggs and Sadler’s cars both had modifications that allowed air to leak out of the trunk area. It was discovered before qualifying and had not been announced by NASCAR before Tuesday. Waltrip, meanwhile, had a suspicious substance in the intake manifold of his Camry. The part was seized before qualifying, and the car was impounded after the session. Inspectors plan to examine the car today, and NASCAR has not decided if it will be returned to Waltrip in time for Thursday’s qualifying races. No penalties have been decided as NASCAR continues investigating. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NASCAR suspended the crew chiefs for Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Scott Riggs and Elliott Sadler and docked all four drivers points before the season-opening Daytona 500. All four cars failed qualifying inspection. A fifth, Michael Waltrip’s startup Toyota Camry, faces additional penalties that could be even more severe. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR vowed last summer to crack down on cheaters and pledged to toughen penalties in a sport in which bending rules is as common as banging bumpers. Officials made good on that promise Tuesday.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Canyon Principal Bob Messina said he was attending a school district meeting and received a phone call informing him of the incident. “I understand it wasn’t any of our kids who came on campus to meet and greet our student,” Messina said. “The meet-and-greet didn’t go so well.” Messina said the student who was approached had not been attending Canyon for long and will not be returning to campus because of probation issues. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] CANYON COUNTRY – Two people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in an after-school attack Tuesday at Canyon High School that authorities believe was gang-related. Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Rios said a 19-year-old man was arrested on the Canyon Country campus Tuesday and a second person was arrested Wednesday. “The victim broke his ankle and a knife was used during the assault,” Rios said. He could not provide any further details. Deputies from the station’s COBRA unit, which investigates gang crime in the Santa Clarita Valley, were assigned the case.