Appeals committee upholds Daytona 500 penalties

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An appeals committee upheld penalties
levied against Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne after NASCAR caught
their teams cheating at the Daytona 500.

The crew chiefs for both drivers were suspended four races and
fined $50,000 each, while both drivers were docked 50 points.

Roush Fenway Racing appealed the severity of the fine against
Robbie Reiser and the deduction of points from Kenseth, while
Evernham Motorsports appealed only the docking of points from

The deduction of points before the season started was
unprecedented for NASCAR, which had been reluctant to have a team
begin a season in negative standing.

In denying the appeals Monday, the three-judge panels agreed
that the penalties assessed were "severe by the standards of a
year or more ago." But NASCAR officials argued to the commission
that they had warned teams last summer that penalties would be
ramped up from previous benchmarks for serious violations.

In all, five teams were caught cheating during preparations for
the season-opening 500.

Evernham also appealed the severity of the fines against Elliott Sadler and Scott Riggs, who were both docked 25 points. The
commission has not ruled on that case yet.

Michael Waltrip's team did not appeal its penalties after it was
caught using a fuel additive. Waltrip was docked 100 points, his
crew chief was fined a record $100,000 and suspended indefinitely,
along with Waltrip's competition director.

Kahne's appeal was heard by Russell Hackett, Cathy Rice and
chairman George Silbermann. Kenseth's appeal was heard by Terry
Eames, Richard Gore and Silbermann.