CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carl Edwards on Wednesday was docked 100 points and stripped of the 10 bonus points he earned for winning Sunday's NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In addition, crew chief Bob Osborne was fined $100,000 and suspended six weeks and Jack Roush was docked 100 owner points.
Edwards moved into the Sprint Cup points lead for the first time in his career after his second straight win. And he would have carried the bonus points into the Chase for the Championship.
But during the postrace inspection, NASCAR discovered the cover was off of the oil tank in the No. 99 Ford. It's believed that by opening up the oil tank trunk, the air is able to circulate through the car and create as much as 10 percent more downforce.
NASCAR and Edwards declined comment. Roush Fenway president Geoff Smith said the team believes a bolt failed on the cover, and it wants to get the part back from NASCAR to inspect it before deciding if it will appeal. Until the decision is made, Osborne will begin serving his suspension and engineer Chris Andrews will fill in as crew chief.
Smith added the team believes the punishment, the biggest related to the Car of Tomorrow, is too severe considering Michael Waltrip received nearly an identical penalty last year for having a fuel additive in his engine. Waltrip was docked 100 points, and his crew chief was fined $100,000 and suspended four races.
"So you get 100 points for putting rocket fuel in your car and then you get 100 points for a bolt coming too loose?" Smith said.
"There seems to be a little inconsistency here, and we're being penalized for something we aren't even sure gave an added performance to the car."
Appeal won: A NASCAR committee amended the penalty levied against Robby Gordon, returning the 100 points he was docked for an unapproved front bumper found at Daytona. It also lifted crew chief Frank Kerr's six-week suspension but raised his fine from $100,000 to $150,000. The original penalty, combined with a crash Sunday, had dropped Gordon to 37th. Instead, he sits 21st.
IRL: Australia's Gold Coast Indy 300, previously part of the Champ Car schedule, will be on the merged series' schedule through 2013. It, Edmonton and Long Beach, Calif., are expected to be the only former Champ Car races run this year.