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Roush Appeals Martin’s Point Loss

November 13, 2002

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Roush Racing has filed an appeal of the 25-point penalty levied against Mark Martin by NASCAR for using an unapproved spring during the Oct. 27 race in Rockingham, N.C.

Team owner Jack Roush put the decision of whether or not to appeal in the hands of team president Geoff Smith, who said he took the entire 10 days allowed by the appeal process before filing ``to talk to people in racing and make sure we weren’t doing anything stupid.″

Smith said, ``According to NASCAR rules, penalties are determined by the gravity of the violation and its effects on fairness of competition. Since the spring in question had an inconsequential deviation from the rule-specified length, since its use had absolutely no effect on the fairness of competition, and since the penalty imposed was harsher than the intent of its own published standards for the imposition of penalties, we have elected to take advantage of the review process NASCAR has provided to us.″

In a post-race inspection, the spring was found to have one less coil than allowed. The Roush team said it came out of the box from the manufacturer and was put on the car in good faith.

NASCAR docked Martin 25 championship points, Roush 25 owners points and fined crew chief Ben Leslie $5,000.

The National Auto Racing Commission will appoint a three-person panel from among its 12 commissioners to hear the appeal. There was no immediate word when the appeal would be heard and no immediate comment from NASCAR.

Martin goes into Sunday’s season-ending race in Homestead, Fla., trailing Tony Stewart by 89 points in the battle for the Winston Cup championship.

Stewart can wrap it up by finishing 25th or better, no matter what Martin does in the race.

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