NASCAR announced Thursday that it has reinstated Ty Norris, an executive with Michael Waltrip Racing. Norris had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR last Sept. 9 as part of the penalties assessed to MWR following the sanctioning body’s review of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sept. 7 at Richmond International Raceway. It was the last of NASCAR’s regular season races and set the field for NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.
A caution with seven laps to go that Sept. 7 at Richmond International Raceway set up a final three lap dash. It not only decided a race winner, Carl Edwards, but sealed the fate of Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman. Both of whom fell short of making the Chase.
The caution was set off by Bowyer who spun along the frontstretch. A replay from Bowyer’s in-car camera that included the radio communication from his team of the final laps however showed what can only be termed as suspicious.
The following Monday NASCAR brought one of the most severe penalties in its history for the actions taken by drivers with Michael Waltrip Racing during the race. NASCAR penalized MWR’s three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (No. 15, 55, 56) with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points. The cars were driven by Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and Martin Truex Jr. respectively.
As a result of the actions, Truex fell from the Chase and Newman was put in. Later that week, NASCAR added Gordon as a 13th driver in the traditionally 12 driver field.
NASCAR also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car. The three crew chiefs – Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) – were placed on NASCAR probation that ended on Dec. 31.
NASCAR said Thursday that Norris remains on indefinite NASCAR probation.