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No. 7 team penalized for rules violations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR announced today the No. 7 team that competes in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has been penalized as a result of rules violations committed Saturday, July 16. at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.
The team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20D-5.9P (the intake manifold ports did not completely seal to the cylinder head ports. The use of metal shim-type intake manifold gaskets is not permitted) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violations were discovered during post-race inspection on July 16.
Mike LaRochelle, crew chief of car No. 7, has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011.
Kevin Manion, owner of car No. 7, has been disqualified from the July 16 New Hampshire race, and has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011.
Ryan Newman, driver of car No. 7, has been disqualified from the July 16 New Hampshire race.
Second-place finisher Todd Szegedy will be credited with the win.
UPDATE: Late Wednesday evening, Manion released the following statement:
“I had no intention to ruin my or my team’s reputations or put a black eye on the NWMT in any way, shape or manner. It was never anyone’s intent to cheat. We have won numerous races with the No. 7NY and Ryan and have been through and passed inspection for each of them. Unfortunately, the penalties were a result of circumstances beyond our control. Everyone on our team has won NWMT races in the past and never did anything of this magnitude while racing full-time in the series.
“With that being said, though we don’t like or agree with the severity of the penalty, we accept the penalty that NASCAR has given out to us. We will still give back to the modified series as it gave us so many years of experience in order for us to do what we do today. We will try to win more races and bring more fans from the Cup fan base to crossover to the NWMT.”