Ryan Newman replaced Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship when NASCAR on Monday penalized Michael Waltrip Racing for manipulating the outcome of Saturday's race at Richmond International Raceway.
"We penalize to ask for it to not happen again," NASCAR President Mike Helton said. "It's a message from the league or the sanctioning body saying, 'You can't do this.' "
Newman, who needed a victory to secure the final spot in the 12-driver Chase field, led with seven laps left. But Clint Bowyer spun and brought out a caution, setting in motion a chain of events that ultimately led to Newman losing and Bowyer teammate Truex earning the final Chase berth.
NASCAR reviewed communication between Bowyer and his MWR crew that seemed to indicate the spin was deliberate, as well as evidence that suggested MWR had Bowyer and Brian Vickers take a dive over the final three laps so Joey Logano would knock Jeff Gordon out of Chase contention in yet another attempt to help Truex.
Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000, general manager Ty Norris was suspended indefinitely, and Truex, Bowyer and Vickers were docked 50 points apiece. Bowyer's deduction did not affect his position in the Chase, which begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Newman was moved into the Chase because the point deductions to the MWR drivers were made to their totals at the conclusion of Saturday's race. Once Truex lost his 50 points, it dropped him to 17th in the standings and below Newman, who moved into position for the second wild card into the Chase field.
NASCAR did not adjust the standings to put Gordon into the Chase he was in before Bowyer's spin because Helton said it was impossible to address all the scenarios.
U.S. seeks to clinch World Cup berth
The U.S. men's soccer team has found a home at cozy Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
It has become the traditional site of the Americans' World Cup qualifier against regional rival Mexico following 2-0 victories in 2001, 2005 and 2009.
And tonight, the Americans hope to repeat their performance of four years ago, when they clinched a World Cup berth by beating El Tri.
"We have history here. And for soccer in our country, that's not always the case," said midfielder Michael Bradley, who will miss the match because of a sprained left ankle.
The United States (4-2-1) can clinch its seventh straight World Cup appearance with two matches to spare if it beats Mexico (1-1-5) and Honduras (3-3-1) defeats or ties visiting Panama (1-2-4).
Three other Americans will miss the match because of yellow-card accumulation: forward Jozy Altidore, midfielder Geoff Cameron and defender Matt Besler.
Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek withdrew from this week's U.S. International Skating Classic in Salt Lake City, citing a slight abdominal tear. A similar injury forced him out of Skate America last year, and he had sports hernia surgery that sidelined him for the year.
Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight fighter Matt Grice was scheduled to undergo brain surgery Monday in Oklahoma after his vehicle was reportedly struck from behind at a stoplight in a Sunday night car crash. Grice is an Oklahoma City police officer but reportedly was off duty at the time of the crash.
The Brooklyn Nets will retire the No. 5 jersey of Jason Kidd, who led the franchise to its greatest NBA success as a player and is now its coach. The ceremony will take place Oct. 17 before a preseason game against the Miami Heat.
Ricky Rubio had 16 points as defending champion Spain reached the second round of the World Basketball Championship by beating Georgia 83-59 in Celje, Slovenia.
French cyclist Warren Barguil won the mountainous 16th stage of the Spanish Vuelta, perfectly timing his final sprint up the steep Aramon Formigal peak. Vincenzo Nibali of Italy fended off rivals to keep the overall lead.
The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times