CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Martin Truex's bid to make the Chase for the championship took a severe hit Tuesday when NASCAR penalized his team 150 points for bringing an illegal car to Daytona.
Truex's car failed its initial inspection last week at Daytona, and the No. 1 Chevrolet was confiscated and brought back to NASCAR's research center for further examination.
NASCAR penalized Truex and his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team with a stiff points deduction that drops him from 14th in the standings to 18th. The top 12 drivers make the Chase, and Truex has just eight races to get back into contention.
In addition, crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion and car chief Gary Putnam were suspended from the next six races and placed on probation until the end of the year.
Manion was also fined $100,000.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)