Several NASCAR Chevy teams were penalized after parts were seized ahead of the March 12th race at Phoenix Raceway, one of which was the No. 31 Chevy Camaro ZL1 of Justin Haley, fielded by Kaulig Racing. After a hearing on Wednesday, April 6th, 2023, the National Motorsports Appeal Panel (NMAP) ruled that the penalties assessed to the Kaulig Racing entry would be upheld, but amended the points deduction.
As a reminder, the hood louvres were seized from all five NASCAR Chevy teams at Phoenix, including the No. 31 Camaro of Haley and the four Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) entries of Josh Berry’s No. 9 Camaro; Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Camaro; William Byron’s No. 24 Camaro and Alex Bowman’s No. 48 Camaro. The hood louvres were found to be in violation of Sections 18.104.22.168.A of the NASCAR Rule Book, which outlines specifications for how the radiator duct of the Next Gen race car is assembled.
As a result, the No. 31 Camaro as well as the four HMS teams were hit with L2-level penalties, which consisted of crew chief suspensions and fines of $100,000. Each team was also docked 100 team points, 100 driver points and 10 Playoff points.
Kaulig was given the opportunity to appear before the National Motorsports Appeals Panel (NMAP) on April 6th. The panel ruled that the parts seized from the No. 31 NASCAR Chevy Camaro were, in fact, in violation of the sanctioning body’s specifications, and elected to uphold the penalties. However, NMAP amended the points deductions, restoring 25 driver and and owner points, reducing the penalty to a 75-point deduction. Crew chief Trent Owens will still serve out his four-race suspension and pay his fine, and Haley’s No. 31 Camaro will still be docked 10 Playoff points.
Comparatively, when HMS appealed, the team’s points deductions were eliminated entirely. It’s not clear why NMAP ruled to uphold the penalties to the No. 31 NASCAR Chevy while walking back on that of the four HMS entries.