Here's the official NASCAR press release announcing penalties levied against Martin Truex Jr. and the #1 team for violations this past weekend in Daytona:
"DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2008) – NASCAR has issued penalties, fines and suspensions to the car No. 1 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions found last week at Daytona International Speedway.
The car driven by Martin Truex Jr., was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-3.8A (roof of the car does not conform to the specifications) of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book.
As a result, Truex Jr. and car owner Teresa Earnhardt have been penalized 150 championship driver and 150 championship owner points, respectively. Both the crew chief, Kevin Manion, and the car chief, Gary Putnam, have been suspended from the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, suspended from NASCAR until Aug. 27 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Additionally, Manion has been fined $100,000.
The infractions were discovered July 3 during opening day inspection."
The penalties were expected, but the reality of the situation has finally hit home: Truex has no chance at making The Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2008.
Before the harsh but consistent penalties were slapped on the Bass Pro Shops Chevy, the team stood 14th in points, a mere 86 points out of the 12th and final Chase spot. Following the penalties, Truex is 236 points out of the final playoff slot.
Even more important, perhaps, is the fact that Truex now sits 18th in points. Before the penalties, he had two drivers to leapfrog; today, there are six who stand in the way of his first Chase appearance.
Combine the six drivers ahead of him with the 236-point deficit, add in a mere eight races remaining until The Chase commences, and it all equals an impossible series of hurdles for Truex to overcome.
What it also gives you is the final 18 races of Truex's short tenure at Dale Earnardt Inc.