Rules are there to keep every sports fair and competitive irrespective of your natural or financial background and in Motorsports racing it is of high importance as a small lack of regulation can see the big teams or drivers obliterating the competition against small teams by gaining unfair advantages.
This week saw Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing team facing a Level-2 penalty for unauthorized modification of single-source supplied part which saw penalizing the team 100 driver points, and 100 owner points alongside crew chief Matt McCall getting fined $100,000 facing a four NASCAR Cup Series points races suspension.
But this isn’t the massive penalty that a team or driver had to endure for either modification or straight up cheating…. Let’s find out who are the drivers that faced the severest penalty.
Richard Petty uses a king-sized engine and get penalized
NASCAR didn’t even let the King get away free after he broke the rules back in 1983 for using an oversized engine. The team was also accused of deliberately interchanging the right and left tires.
Richard Petty got a 104 points deduction and a hefty $35,000 fine. Richard Petty was lucky though as he was still got awarded the race win as the official sited some technicalities before disqualifying him.
Jeff Gordon in 1995
If you are a great driver such as Jeff Gordon finishing 33ed in the race does not give you a free pass to just walk away from a lesson the legendary Jeff Gordan himself found out in 1995 Coca-Cola 600. For “using suspension parts that did not meet NASCAR specifications,” NASCAR fined Jeff Gordan’s crew chief Ray Evernham $60,000 a record amount then.
Carl Long’s engine in 2009
Carl Long was caught in 2009 in a practice for the Sprint Showdown for All-Star Race qualifier. His engine was found to be way too big by 1/6th of an inch and was fined for 12 weeks alongside a $200,000 fine. He also faced one of the big point deductions of all time as he was stripped off of 200 points.
Jeremy Mayfield’s illegal fuel in 2000
In 2000 just after an Auto Club Speedway win, Jeremy Mayfield was found to be using an illegal fuel additive in his Penske-Kranefuss team car, in Talladega the prior week. The additive was later found to be an oxygenate.
Michael Kranefuss, who co-owned the team with Roger Penske, was fined $50,000, crew chief Peter Sospenzo was suspended for two months, and a 151 points deduction was also done.
Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007
One of the infamous incidents in recent NASCAR history where the organization found out that Michael Waltrip Racing was using an illegal fuel additive during the Daytona Speedweek which the team denied when caught.
They were stripped of 100 points and were fined $100,000 alongside the suspension of crew chief David Hyder and competition director Bobby Kennedy.