Clint Bowyer drops from second to last place in NASCAR's chase after 150-point penalty
The car that helped Clint Bowyer jump from 12th to second place in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with a victory at New Hampshire on Sunday has now caused him to fall back into last place, before another race has even taken place.
Bowyer was slapped with a 150-point penalty Wednesday after his race-winning No. 33 Chevrolet failed an inspection by NASCAR. Although the car passed an initial inspection at the race Sunday, upon further inspection at NASCAR's research and development center it was determined that the rear end of the car had been manipulated.
According to NASCAR's website, Bowyer's team was penalized for actions detrimental to stock car racing, race equipment that does not conform to NASCAR rules and car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis did not meet NASCAR-approved specifications.
Speaking at the NASCAR Hall of Fame before the punishment was announced Wednesday, Bowyer said he was not to blame for anything that might be found wrong with his car.
“Man, I have no idea. I show up on Friday, I bring my helmet, my HANS and I get in the car,” said Bowyer, who is still considered the winner of the race. “Anything that happens Sunday to Friday, I don't know. I know we won the race this weekend and it was a lot of fun. We led the most laps and won the race and the guys work hard in the shop to bring fair, fast race cars."
Bowyer added: “Aside from that, I don't know what's going on.”
Crew chief Shane Wilson was fined $150,000 and suspended for the next six races. Car chief Chad Haney also received a six-race suspension. Owner Richard Childress was penalized 150 owner points.
On Tuesday, team officials were alerted that Bowyer's car from the previous week's race at Richmond, Va., had almost failed inspection due to back-end issues.
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Clint Bowyer's No. 33 Chevrolet at New Hampshire. Credit: Cheryl Senter / Associated Press