ESPNews reports Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards was penalized 100 championship points for violating NASCAR rules. Edwards also was penalized the 10 bonus points he would have received if he was to qualify for the Chase. Crew Chief Bob Osborne was fined $100,000 and was suspended for the next six races. Team owner Jack Roush was penalized 100 owner's points as well. Edwards was first in the overall points standings but is now seventh overall after the penalty.
NASCAR officials had issues with the Roush Fenway No. 99 Ford after they found the lid on the oil reservoir encasement was not securely fastened during their post-race inspection. If the lid is not on properly it can cause the oil to cool, improving its performance and ultimately allowing the car to go faster. It would also give the car an aerodynamic advantage, allowing air to escape inside the car and creating more downforce. This allows the car to get lower and get better grip to the racetrack.
Edwards, who was first overall in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings for the first time in his career, is now seventh overall following the 100-point penalty and must sacrifice the 10 bonus points if he were to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup title. He will have to attempt the next six races without Osborne, who has been with Edwards since the end of the 2005 season. It is currently unknown who will fill-in as crew chief for Edwards in the upcoming races, including the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.
President of Roush Fenway, Geoff Smith, said the team hasn't received official notification of the penalty but will have 10 days to issue a response. "We have to go through NASCAR's penalty history to see if this level of penalty is fair or if Roush Fenway is once again being used to escalate penalties for insignificant performance issues on the racetrack." Owner Jack Roush said Tuesday, March 4, on a Sirius Satellite Radio show that the screw that holds the lid in place must've jarred itself out, possibly due to vibrations during the race. Roush stated they were not trying to create an advantage and didn't think that it created one.
If you're a fantasy owner who has Edwards, you're obviously not happy with the possibility of losing 100 fantasy points. However, fantasy owners shouldn't worry. Edwards has two wins in three races this year, which includes wins in back-to-back races. He won a total of three races last season and seems prepared to make a run at the Sprint Cup title again this year. If Edwards can keep up his solid performance and manage to stay away from penalties, he should be able to stay alive in the race for the championship. He should also continue to be a solid option in fantasy lineups every week, even without Osborne behind him.
About Fraser Lovat
Fraser is a Hot off the Wire Analyst with KFFL and has been with the company since 2007.
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