7 suspended at Joe Gibbs for cheating

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- NASCAR suspended seven crew members of Joe Gibbs Racing and stripped drivers Tony Stewart and Joey Logano of 150 points each Wednesday for cheating after last weekend's Nationwide Series race.


Crew chiefs Jason Ratcliff and Dave Rogers were suspended indefinitely and fined $50,000 each, but NASCAR decided not to bar the cars from future races.

Owner Joe Gibbs said he would not appeal the penalties. He indicated he would also personally fine the crew members involved and suspend them through the end of the season.

No. 18 car chief Dorian Thorsen , engine tuner Michael Johnson and crew member Toby Bigelow and No. 20 car chief Richard Bray and engine tuner Dan Bajek also received indefinite suspensions. JGR was docked 150 owner points for each car and the teams were placed on probation for the rest of the season.

After Stewart finished third in Saturday's race at Michigan International Speedway in the No. 20 car and Logano was seventh in the No. 18, inspectors found magnets under the gas pedals of both cars when they were sent to the chassis dyno for examination. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the teams were attempting to mask the cars' true horsepower.

NASCAR on Wednesday also fined Sprint Cup driver Reed Sorenson 's crew chief, Donnie Wingo , $25,000 after the car was found to have an improperly attached weight in Sunday's race at Michigan.

ON THE MOVE: Casey Mears and David Stremme are expected to fill the last two major vacancies in the Sprint Cup Series this week.

Mears signed a contract to drive the new fourth car at Richard Childress Racing last week at Michigan International Speedway, several sources confirmed. A formal announcement is expected this week before the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stremme is the lead candidate to replace Ryan Newman in the No. 12 Dodge at Penske Racing. Newman will leave the team at the end of the season to be Tony Stewart 's new teammate at Stewart Haas Racing.

DELIVERy on hold: The Summer Games in Beijing is keeping UPS from completing a sponsorship deal with David Ragan and Roush Fenway Racing for the 2009 season.

Ragan is 13th in the Sprint Cup standings, just 24 points from making the Chase for the Championship.

According to several sources, the deal only needs final approval from UPS executives who are attending the Olympic games.

SULLIVAN A BUYER: Former Indy-car champion Danny Sullivan wants to buy Bill Davis Racing.

Sullivan said he and an investor talked to Davis about a takeover of the No. 22 Toyota driven by Dave Blaney in the Sprint Cup Series and a pair of trucks for Johnny Benson and Mike Skinner in the Craftsman Truck Series.

Davis said he has talked to the Sullivan-led group and other interested parties. The car owner doesn't have a connection with any other race team and operates as a single-car entry.


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