From the Marbles - NASCAR

Unless you're a seriously devoted NASCAR fan, you haven't heard much about Carl Long this year. He drove in the Gatorade Duels before the season began, and that was it until this past weekend when he drove in the Sprint Showdown. Which, as it turns out, was an unfortunate move.

NASCAR has absolutely thrown the book at Long for engine violations, hammering him with the largest fine in NASCAR history. Long has been suspended for 12 races and docked a record 200 points. His crew chief, Charles Swing, was hit with a $200,000 fine, and his car owner/wife, Danielle Long, was suspended 12 races and lost 200 owner's points. All three were placed on probation, for what that's worth, until Dec. 31.

During practice for the All-Star race last Friday, Long had engine trouble and switched out the engine. It didn't help, as he had engine problems again and had to drop out of the Showdown after just three laps. But as per NASCAR procedure, officials examined the engine and found "an issue." NASCAR's Research & Development Center determined that the engine exceeded specifications for maximum cubic inch displacement. As a result, adios till August, Carl.

The previous record fine was held by Robby Gordon, whose crew chief, Frank Kerr, was hit with a $150,000 fine in March 2008. Many drivers, including Carl Edwards, have had 100-point penalties.

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