Kurt Busch crew chief suspended

Thursday, October 19th 2006, 5:39 am
By: News On 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Kurt Busch's crew chief was suspended for 2 races by NASCAR on Wednesday for a violation following qualifying at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Roy McCauley also was fined $25,000, Busch was docked 50 driver points and car owner Roger Penske was docked 50 points for the infraction that occurred last week at the suburban Charlotte race track.

The right rear shock absorber on the No. #2 Dodge failed inspection after Busch qualified 3rd. His time was thrown out and Busch started Saturday night's race at the back of the field.

In punishing the team, NASCAR said McCauley cannot participate in any events through November 1, 2006, and will be on probation for the rest of the year. The points deduction drops Busch, the 2004 Nextel Cup champion, from 14th to 16th in the standings. He was not eligible to race for the title this season, his first driving for Penske.

Matt Gimbel will replace McCauley as interim crew chief this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, the Penske team said.

Penske officials said they will not appeal the penalty.

``While we respect the fact that the shock in question did not move the required amount after Kurt's qualifying run, under the rules we are unable to open the shock to determine the reason until the appeal period ends,'' team president Tim Cindric said.

``After discussing the situation with our team, I'm convinced that the problem we had with our shock was not an intentional attempt by any member of our team to circumvent NASCAR's rules.

``We do not plan to appeal the decision, but we look forward to opening the shock with NASCAR to determine what caused us to fail post-qualifying inspection.''