Appeals panel upholds penalties against Nationwide crew

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CONCORD, N.C. — A NASCAR appeals panel on Friday upheld the penalties for two Richard Childress Racing Nationwide crew members who are also facing criminal charges for fighting with Nelson Piquet Jr. at Richmond International Raceway last month.

Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce of driver Brian Scott’s team were both suspended for four Nationwide Series races and fined $15,000 each. The suspensions begin next week at Dover.

The Nationwide Series’ History 300 will take place today, and Scott’s team is eighth in series points.

STAYING PUT: Menards is sticking with Richard Childress Racing.

RCR announced the home improvement store signed a multi-year partnership renewal to back the No. 27 Sprint Cup series car driven by Paul Menard.

Menards first signed on with RCR in 2011.

Menard will start 22nd in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600.

FREEDOM 100: In Indianapolis, Peter Dempsey beat Firestone Indy Lights points leader Carlos Munoz and three other drivers down the front straightaway Friday to win the closest oval race in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history by 0.0026 seconds over Gabby Chaves.

Dempsey started to make an inside move, then steered outside as the cars came down the final straight four wide, overtaking the other three cars just yards from the finish. Sage Karam, the pole-sitter, was third.

Munoz of Colombia took the lead at lap 13 and appeared headed to another Lights’ victory until the final yards. Munoz was trying to become the first driver to win both Memorial Day weekend races at Indy. He finished fourth Friday and will start second, the middle of the front row, in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500. He’s the first Indy rookie to be on the front row since Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.


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