Brian Vickers and #83 Team Slammed with NASCAR Penalty

Brian Vickers lost two positions in the Cup classification after being docked 150 points in the championship following the Martinsville race. The #83 driver along with the team's crew chief Kevin Hamlin and car chief Craig Smokstad were severely penalized after being found in violation of certain articles in the 2008 NASCAR rule book.

Following an inspection from NASCAR officials at Martinsville, the #83 car didn't comply with sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-Q (employed car, car parts, components and/or equipment do not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20-2.1-D (exterior sheet metal body parts did not meet the specified minimum thickness).

As a result of those actions, team owner Dietrich Mateschitz was also docked 150 points in the overall standings, while Hamlin received a $100,000 fine. It is believed that using a thicker exterior metal sheet would reduce the car's weight and, consequently, improve it's handling when cornering.

“As a team we accept full responsibility for the infractions regarding the #83's Martinsville car and will not appeal NASCAR's ruling. This approach to racing is against the values of the Red Bull Racing Team, and the necessary steps will be taken to rectify the situation ensuring it does not happen again,” said Red Bull general manager and VP Jay Frye according to NASCAR News.

Brian Vickers finished 11th overall in the Tums QuikPak 500 at Martinsville Speedway and, despite the penalization, is expected to run this weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kevin Hamlin will be replaced by R&D Manager Randy Cox for the Atlanta race, while Smokstad will be suspended from the sport indefinitely.
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