The NASCAR team owner was previously issued a $50,000 fine
Back in November, NASCAR announced a strict penalty. Mike Harmon Racing was declared in violation of the NASCAR testing policy. Harmon unloaded one of his Xfinity Series machines at Rockingham Speedway. He turned laps for the exhibition charity event.
Crew chief Ryan Bell was fined $50,000 for the violation.
Team owner Mike Harmon felt he wasn’t in the wrong. He appealed the penalty to the National Motorsports Appeals Council in December. That elected to keep the penalty. However, the fine of $50,000 was transferred from the crew chief to Mike Harmon himself.
Harmon stated after that ruling, “I want to reiterate that there was no testing being done, not a bit. We are disappointed with this outcome and ruling today, we will be challenging this ruling in the near future.”
NASCAR Rule Book Section: 5.1.a.c.d (Vehicle Testing)
Mike Harmon wins final appeal
Even after appealing the penalty, there was one final step Harmon could take. He submitted his case to the final appeals official, his last possible attempt at changing the violation.
Decisions of the Final Appeal Officer are:
-That the Appellants violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice.
-That the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel upholding the original Penalty that was issued by NASCAR was incorrect in light of the NASCAR Rulebook modification made on January 24, 2022. This Rulebook change allowed the penalty elements to be applied on an and/or basis and based upon that the Penalty has been modified to be a loss of 75 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Team Owner and Driver points. The suspension and monetary fine elements have been rescinded.
Mr. Roger Werner served as the final appeals officer.
Mike Harmon Racing: Statement
“Mike Harmon Racing met with the National Motorsports Appeal Board on the final appeal. The final appeal officer reviewed the evidence, considered the appeal from MHR and Crew Chief Ryan Bell.”
“Upon hearing the testimony the decision of the final appeal officer has recinded the $50,000 fine and the suspension of crew chief Ryan Bell. The 75 point penalty NASCAR Team Owner and Driver points penalty was upheld.”
“We respect the final decisions of the National Motorsports Appeal Officer and look forward to moving past this and prepare for the 2022 season. We respect all aspects of the rules and regulations in NASCAR and will continue to work with NASCAR and their partners to ensure the series is successful.”
“MHR crew is working at the shop to prepare our cars to compete in the season opener. We want to thank our amazing fans, supporters and great sponsors as we enter the 2022 season.”
The team is set to run at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2022.