Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Long suspended, crew chief fined
ESPN.com news services
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NASCAR has suspended driver Carl Long for the next 12 Sprint Cup races and fined crew chief Charles Swing $200,000, the largest penalty in the sport's history.
Swing was also suspended until Aug. 18 for using an engine that was too big for NASCAR's specifications last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"From a competition side, you do not want to be in violation when it comes to engine size," Kerry Tharp, NASCAR director of communications-competition, told ESPN.com. "That is a serious violation."
Long was docked a NASCAR-record 200 points. Additionally, Swing and Long were placed on probation until Dec. 31.
Car owner Danielle Long, Carl's wife, was also suspended 12 races, docked 200 owner points and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
The record fine exceeds the $150,000 Robby Gordon's crew chief, Frank Kerr, received in March 2008. Several drivers and owners have been docked 100 points in recent years.
Long has made just 23 career Cup starts and has not appeared in a points-paying Cup race since 2006.
He finished last in the 35-car field in a qualifying event for Saturday night's All-Star race, dropping out after three laps because of an engine problem.
Long, who also failed to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500, first had engine trouble during practice last Friday. The team switched engines, and under NASCAR rules, the sanctioning body examined the bad engine.
NASCAR discovered an issue and sent the engine to the Research & Development Center for more tests, which determined the engine exceeded maximum cubic inch displacement specifications.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.