Ty Gibbs handed NASCAR penalty ahead of season opener BY:  Shane Walters

Ty Gibbs, Todd Gilliland and Chad Walters suspended; Team has appealed the penalty; Statements issued by all parties 

DGR Crosley Racing: “We strongly believe that we did not violate any rules and will therefore appeal the penalty immediately.”

DGR Crosley Racing are the defending champions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series east division. They took the title with driver Tyler Ankrum.

NASCAR has handed out a P6 penalty with some fines and suspensions attached. The penalty comes following an alleged testing violation.

16-year-old racing driver Ty Gibbs is the grandson of NASCAR Cup Series team owner Joe Gibbs. He’s a part of the JGR driver development program. Ty was on track a few weeks prior in a test for BDR Racing, a team owned by MENCS driver David Gilliland.

The private test session took place on January 14 at New Smyrna Speedway. The track in question is on the NASCAR Home Track schedule. New Smyrna is set to host the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener on February 10th, 2019.

Testing is disallowed for any track on the schedule per the NASCAR rule book as a cost saving strategy.

Ty Gibbs penalty issued

On Wednesday afternoon, NASCAR handed out the following fines and penalties:

-Chad Walters, car chief for the team was suspended indefinitely.

-Todd Gilliland and Ty Gibbs have each been suspended for three races.

-Todd Gilliland has been docked 100 car owner points. (In the first race, the #17 car would start the season with -100 owner points.)

-Ty Gibbs was docked 100 driver points. (If he races K&N, Ty would start the season with 0 points.)

-Chad Walters, Todd Gilliland and Ty Gibbs have each been fined $5,000 each.

NASCAR penalty announcement: “The team was sanctioned for conducting a private test with a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vehicle at New Smyrna Speedway. The rule limits testing at a sanctioned track on the 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. This infraction resulted in a P6 level penalty.”

NASCAR rule book on testing

Section 125.3.7: Violations resulting in L6 Penalties, in general, represent the expressly forbidden areas of unauthorized activity such as violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy.

Section Violation of the NASCAR Testing Policy Conducting a private test with a NASCAR K&N Pro Series vehicle at a sanctioned track on the 2019 K&N Pro Series East Schedule (such as New Smyrna Speedway). Private race vehicle testing by any NASCAR K&N Pro Series race team, employee, contractor, affiliate, associated, subsidiary or surrogate at any facility that appears on the Series Schedule or that has been granted a Touring Series sanction will be prohibited regardless of “rookie” or “veteran” status.

DGR Crosley appeal NASCAR penalty

The team has elected to appeal the penalty.

What’s their case? The team has stated that the test was actually an ARCA test.

ARCA is now owned by NASCAR and the cars are highly similar. However. ARCA lack a testing policy.

Tanner Gray is scheduled to be a driver for DGR Crosley Racing in 2019. It’s unclear if Ty Gibbs would drive for the DGR team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for 2019.

However, NASCAR told NBC Sports that the team used the approved NASCAR spec engine for the test.

DGR Crosley Racing statement on Ty Gibbs penalty:

“This afternoon NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they are imposing for actions that occurred during an ARCA Racing Series test on January 14. We strongly believe that we did not violate any rules and will therefore appeal the penalty immediately. While the appeals process runs its course, we will move forward and keep our focus on the upcoming season.”

Team owner, David Gilliland also issued a statement:

Gilliand stated via twitter: “The penalty that NASCAR issued today is unfortunate for everyone involved at DGR-Crosley. We are an organization that stands for integrity and hard work. We will appeal this! Thanks for everyone’s support!”

ARCA statement on the testing penalty:

ARCA has also released a statement after the team issued their statement. They just clarified the rules regarding their series. However, the penalty has nothing to do with any ARCA rule violation.

“ARCA does not have any private testing limits at sanctioned or non-sanctioned tracks, other than a clearly defined moratorium on each event entry blank that generally covers the week leading up to an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event.”

“Teams who would like to schedule a private test at one of the 18 tracks on the ARCA schedule do not have to notify us in advance of doing so, it is an agreement between them and the individual track.”

“The only time we would get involved would be if a team tested during that moratorium period that is defined on each entry blank. DGR-Crosley Racing is not under any ARCA penalties because they did not break any ARCA rules.”