NASCAR has assessed a significant penalty against Xfinity Series team owner Mario Gosselin and driver Alex Labbe of DGM Racing for what was deemed an illegal private test session in advance of the inaugural event at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.
Gosselin was fined $50,000 and docked 75 owner points and Labbe was assessed a 75 driver point penalty. Labbe was 73 points out of the final playoff position and now falls to 148 points out.
The penalty was for Gosselin and Labbe taking a composite body stock car to a SCCA sanctioned event over the weekend at Daytona.
NASCAR does not permit any private testing with a car it sanctions on any track, whatsoever. Specifically, Section 5.1.a of the Xfinity Series rule book states: "Private vehicle testing by any race team, employee, contractor, affiliate, associate, subsidiary, or surrogate is strictly prohibited."
Section 5.1.d of the Xfinity Series rule book states: NASCAR, in its sole discretion, will determine in advance what constitutes an authorized test. In general, only tests conducted under the NASCAR National Series Unified Testing policy are considered to be authorized tests.”
DGM, Gosselin and Labbe spent nearly 15 minutes on the NASCAR owned track before officials from the sanctioning body pulled them off the track.
Labbe was listed in Regional Race Group 7 in a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro. The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro is the approved model for Chevrolet teams in the Xfinity Series.
There will be no practice sessions for any of the three NASCAR national touring divisions before their respective races and the sanctioning body will only allow a driver to compete in one race over that weekend.
That means Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series regulars will not be able to turn more laps than anyone else in their division. The NASCAR drivers are not even allowed to enter the ARCA race the Thursday afternoon of that weekend.
Thus, a team like DGM was looking for an advantage.
DGM will appeal to the penalties, releasing the following statement:
"DGM Racing is aware of the allegations against us. We feel we followed all the proper protocol and will be appealing the penalty. We are unable to comment further. Thank you for the support we have received so far."