Roush disputes penalty

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2002

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- If Jack Roush has his way, the points race for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship will get tighter a day before the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The car owner said Wednes day he will appeal a 25-point penalty imposed against driver Mark Martin for an illegal suspension spring at Rockingham, N.C. If the National Stock Car Racing Commission agrees the mistake was inadvertent and had no bearing on Martin's second-place finish, he will enter Sunday's Ford 400 only 64 points behind series leader Tony Stewart.

''According to NASCAR rules, penalties for violation of NASCAR rules are determined by the gravity of the situation and its effects on fairness of competition,'' said Geoff Smith, president of Roush Racing.

''Since the spring in question had an inconsequential deviation from the rule-specified length, since its use had ab solutely no effect on the fairness of competition and since the pen alty imposed was harsher than the intent of its own published standards for the imposition of penalties, we have elected to take advantage of the review process NASCAR has provided to us.''

NASCAR rules state springs must have at least 4-inch coils. Martin's spring had 438-inch coils.

Roush contends the spring

was provided by a NASCAR-ap proved vendor and the mistake came in manufacturing.

The sanctioning body im posed similar 25-point penalties against Jeff Green and Ward Burton for illegal springs. In those cases, those springs and been altered.

EARNHARDT LAW CHALLENGED: While most major newspapers in Florida have settled their lawsuits over the Earnhardt Family Protection Act, the student-run Florida Alligator has taken its fight to the Florida Supreme Court.

Several newspapers were un happy with a law that allows viewing of autopsy photographs only with a judge's order.

The law was quickly enacted in Flo rida after the death of racing icon Dale Earnhardt during the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

The Florida Alligator wants autopsy photographs to be available under public record laws, meaning anyone can view them. The newspaper said it's important for the media and watchdog organizations have the ability to review and challenge autopsy results.

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