UPDATE: Tuesday, July 11, 2023 at 1:57 PM ET
On Tuesday, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard and considered an appeal of a P4 penalty issued on June 14 to Marc-Antoine Camirand, crew chief Robin McCluskey, and owner Jean-Claude Paille in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
The penalties assessed were the loss of 18 NASCAR Pinty’s Series driver and owner points, a $2,500 fine for Robin McCluskey, and a one-race suspension, as well as probation through the end of the year.
Upon hearing the testimony, the panel concluded that the rules set forth in the penalty notice were violated and that the penalty would be upheld. Now, entering Friday’s event at Exhibition Place, Camirand sits fourth in point standings, 33 markers behind series point leader Treyten Lapcevich.
Should Camirand, McCluskey, and Paille choose to further appeal the penalty, their case can be heard by a Final Appeals Officer.
ORIGINAL STORY: June 14, 2023 at 8:16 PM ET
Marc-Antoine Camirand and the No. 96 Paille Racing Team scored their first victory of the 2023 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season on Saturday in a dramatic battle in the closing laps with Camirand’s top championship rival Treyten Lapcevich.
However, for Camirand and crew chief Robin McCluskey, the celebration was short-lived.
On Wednesday, NASCAR announced a P4-Level penalty for the No. 96 team, which is an infraction discovered during post-race inspection. According to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series penalty report, the No. 96 team was found to be in violation of Sections 20.E.12.2 of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series Rule Book.
The section of the rulebook states that the front trailing arm mounts must be an equal distance when measured from the inside edge of the main frame rails to the centerline of the mounts on both the left side and the right side.
As a result of the infraction, the No. 96 team has been docked 18 NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship owner points, Camirand has been docked 18 NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship driver points, McCluskey has been fined $2,500 and placed on suspension for the next NASCAR Pinty’s Series event, and will not be permitted to return until the fine is paid.
Additionally, McCluskey will be placed on probation through December 31, 2023.
After Saturday’s Bud Light 300, Camirand trailed Lapcevich by only nine points for the championship point lead, which seemed incredible due to Lapcevich’s top-two finishes in all three events to start the season.
However, after the penalty, Camirand will now drop to a tie for fifth in the championship standings with D.J. Kennington, and he’ll sit 27 points behind Lapcevich.
While the penalty meant more breathing room for Lapcevich, the Series points leader was not happy that he missed out on a third-consecutive victory to start the season due to the No. 96 team showing up with an apparent illegal race car.
In a Tweet, Lapcevich said, “Interesting stuff! Tough deal to lose the possibility of 3 in a row to a car that doesn’t comply to the rules in a big way. Really proud of my @22RacingTeam and the speed we’ve had. Excited for @EastboundPark on the 24th!”
Interesting stuff! Tough deal to lose the possibility of 3 in a row to a car that doesn’t comply to the rules in a big way. Really proud of my @22RacingTeam and the speed we’ve had. Excited for @EastboundPark on the 24th! https://t.co/IF8JspD2jA
— Treyten Lapcevich (@TreytenL) June 14, 2023
The next race for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series is the Pro Line 225 at Eastbound Speedway, which is set for Saturday, June 24th. Camirand won the inaugural NASCAR Pinty’s Series race at Eastbound Speedway a season ago, and he’ll likely need a repeat of that performance this season if he wants to apply pressure to Lapcevich in the race for the championship.