Tony Stewart's big win in Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway tainted by post-race inspection
DAYTONA BEACH -- The team of Coke Zero 400 winner Tont Stewart was fined and had race points taken away in the wake of rules violations at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart's qualifying time for Saturday's big race win was disallowed after officials discovered an unapproved open vent hose inside of his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet in a post-qualifying inspection.
Though Stewart posted his third victory of the season, his team was docked six championship points Tuesday. A corresponding six-point penalty was also issued to Margaret Haas, the No. 14's car owner of record. Steve Addington, Stewart's crew chief, was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Aug. 22 for the infraction. NASCAR also placed car chief Jeff Meendering on probation until Aug. 22.
Stewart's team leader denied any rules violations were done on purpose.
"While we respect and accept NASCAR's decision, we want to be clear that there was no malicious intent," said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas' competition director. "In a rush to replace a cracked rear windshield that happened during tech inspection prior to qualifying, we jostled a cooling hose that was behind the seat. We understand NASCAR's position and will abide by its decision."
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched April 7, 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of Frederick's three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores in October 2015. The second book, "Wrestling ReWind is scheduled for publication in December 2015. The third book, "The Day NASCAR Died: 15th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death in the Daytona 500," is planned for publication in February 2016.
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