NASCAR has docked Chase for the Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer 25 points and suspended his Michael Waltrip Racing crew chief Billy Scott for three races for an illegal suspension found in opening-day inspection Friday at Chicagoland Speedway.
MWR has appealed the penalty, and NASCAR, who asked that the appeal process be expedited because of its potential impact on the Chase, announced Thursday that the appeal will be heard on Wednesday. Scott's suspension will be deferred pending the appeal.
"Michael Waltrip Racing respectfully disagrees with [Wednesday's] penalties and plans to immediately appeal," the team said in a statement. "MWR has made mistakes in the past, but we feel we are correct in this instance."
With the penalty, Bowyer drops from 15th to 16th in the standings, 31 points behind current 12th-place driver Jeff Gordon. There are two races left -- this weekend at New Hampshire and next week at Dover -- before the Chase field gets cut from 16 to 12.
NASCAR issued the penalty -- P4 on its P1-to-P6 scale, with P6 being the most severe -- for violation of the rule that forbids washers or other components that allow movement of certain track bar joints or mounting bolts. Permitting those rear-end suspension components to move would allow the car to handle better in the corners.
In addition to the suspension and points penalty to both Bowyer and the team in the owner standings, Scott was fined $75,000 and put on probation for the next six months.
NASCAR also announced three other penalties from Chicagoland:
• Danica Patrick crew chief Daniel Knost and car chief Pete White were put on probation for having the right side quarter panel behind the rear wheel modified during qualifying inspection.
• The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Xfinity Series team was docked 10 points in the owner standings and crew chief Chris Gayle was fined $12,500 for the car being too low in the front in postrace inspection. Kyle Busch, who won the race Saturday, does not earn points in the series and therefore was not penalized.
• The JGR No. 18 Xfinity Series crew chief Eric Phillips and crew member John Egbert Jr. were put on probation through the end of the year for modifications to the side skirt after prerace inspection.