Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Gary Nelson, NASCAR vice-president of research and development, announced he is leaving the sanctioning organization to form his own company. "It has been a lifelong dream of mine to have my own company that specializes in safety, performance and other technology-driven aspects of motorsports," said Nelson. "I've been thinking about it for a long time and now is a good time to do it. 'Nelson & Associates’ will be open for business right away and I’m delighted that NASCAR will be my first client.” With NASCAR as a client, Nelson will continue his efforts on the Car of Tomorrow and other safety initiatives for the racing industry. “Gary has been a great contributor to NASCAR’s success,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton, “beginning as a crew member, then as a championship crew chief and, most recently, as a leader in NASCAR’s commitment to safety. “This is something he has always wanted to do and it will be a great opportunity for Gary to take advantage of his racing knowledge and make it available to the entire motorsports industry. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Gary in this new role,” Helton said. Nelson will use his quarter-century of experience in NASCAR racing and make it available to other forms of racing.

Hall of Fame Racing has an engine lease program with Joe Gibbs Racing, and the unapproved carburetor came with the engine supplied to Hall of Fame Racing. "Joe Gibbs Racing provides all of the engines and carburetors for Hall of Fame Racing," said Gibbs. "We are responsible for any issues having arisen from the unapproved carburetor that was taken by NASCAR in Daytona. It is never our intention to put any unapproved parts on any of our race cars or those of our partners. We will join Hall of Fame Racing in appealing the severity of the penalty."

#48 and #96 Penalties Announced:
NASCAR announced that four penalties have been issued to two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, as a result of rule violations this past weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

Chad Knaus, crew chief for the #48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson, has been fined $25,000 and suspended from all NASCAR events until March 22, 2006 [thru Atlanta race]. Knaus has also been placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2006. The penalties come because of an unapproved template modification to the rear window area, violating Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-3.12.1 (A) (unapproved template modification.) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule book. The violation was discovered during Feb. 12 post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500. On Feb. 13, NASCAR ejected Knaus from further participation in Daytona 500 activities as a result of the violation.[No Point Penalties]

Three penalties were assessed to the #96 Chevrolet team, due to the use of an unapproved carburetor, a violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment that do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book. Crew chief Philippe Lopez was fined $25,000; driver Terry Labonte was penalized with the loss of 25 driver championship points; and car owner William Saunders was penalized 25 owner championship points. This rule violation was also discovered during post-qualifying inspection for the Daytona 500.