Truck driven to win by Michael Waltrip penalized for spoiler issue

The No. 15 truck that Michael Waltrip drove to victory lane in the Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona on Friday night has been penalized by NASCAR because of a spoiler issue that arose, err, fell down during the final laps.

The right half of the spoiler on Waltrip's truck broke from the braces and laid flat somewhere during the next-to-last lap of the race. It's unknown if the reduced drag on Waltrip's truck helped him complete the last-lap pass of Elliott Sadler -- Sadler said that the pass probably would have happened if the spoiler was up -- but it certainly couldn't have hurt.

The No. 15 truck driven by Michael Waltrip was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR Officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20B-3.1.2E (rear spoiler did not meet specifications in post-race inspection) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book.

As a result, crew chief Doug Howe has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Owner Billy Ballew has been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points.

The fine also sets a precedent for points penalties in the new NASCAR points system. 25 points has been a standard NASCAR deduction for fines in the past, but under the new points system, it's closer to one of the 100 point penalties of past years because Vision Aviation Racing and Billy Ballew received 47 points for winning the race. Waltrip wasn't penalized any driver points because he didn't receive any points for winning the race.

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