Ford Authority

Appeals Panel Upholds Safety Penalty To NASCAR Ford Driver

NASCAR Ford driver Ryan Newman was penalized during the 2023 season while subbing in the No. 51 Ford Mustang at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Cup Series race on October 22nd. NASCAR recently announced that its appeals panel elected to uphold the safety penalty to Newman despite efforts to have it reversed.

Newman was fined for a violation discovered practice and qualifying for the Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami, during which he removed his head sock. This was found to be in violation of guidelines outlined in Section 8.3.2.A (Driver Responsibilities) and Section (Driver Protective Clothing/Equipment) of the NASCAR Rule Book, and as as result, he was fined $10,000. 

Newman’s NASCAR Ford team, Rick Ware Racing (RWR), attempted to appeal this decision, which was heard by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel (NMAP) on Tuesday, November 13th, 2023. Dixon Johnston, Hunter Nickell, and Steve York served on the panel. Ultimately, NMAP ruled that Newman’s penalty would stand, and that he would be responsible for the $10,000 fine.

“We reached this conclusion because it was demonstrated that he didn’t wear the proper safety equipment during practice and qualifying,” said a statement issued by the panel after the hearing. “In the absence of a specific fine for the infraction, we listened to NASCAR’s description for how they arrived at the $10,000 penalty. However, the panel suggests NASCAR establish a policy that all safety violations have a published range.”

No points were docked from the No. 51 NASCAR Ford team as a result of the penalty.

It’s worth noting that Newman returned to Cup Series competition to pilot the No. 51 Mustang in select events after its regular driver, Cody Ware, was arrested and suspended indefinitely from competition. Newman did not race at all during the 2022 season, and it’s not clear if he will return to pilot the No. 51 NASCAR Ford in 2024.

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Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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