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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