NASCAR & Auto Racing

Carl Edwards docked points, crew chief fined

Carl Edwards dropped from third to sixth in the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings Tuesday.

NASCAR penalized Edwards 25 driver points because his car was too low in inspection after his victory in Sunday's Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Bob Osborne, Edwards' crew chief, was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 and car owner Jack Roush was fined 25 owner points.

Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith called the points penalty unfair and said the team will appeal.

"We have the misfortune of violating a rule which makes no sense," Smith said. "I say misfortune because we are being penalized for a violation that actually impaired the car's performance."

Smith said the rule the No. 99 Ford team violated was written for restrictor-plate races, where teams try to make the rear of the car as low as legal to reduce aerodynamic drag.

Conversely, on tracks where teams look for more downforce, the objective would be to raise the rear end.

Smith also said a 25-point penalty against a driver in the Chase is particularly harsh -- 250 percent greater, he said -- than a similar penalty against a non-Chase driver.

"Chase drivers are competing for a total of 1,950 points," Smith said. A driver can earn a maximum of 195 points in each of the 10 Chase races. "All drivers competed for 5,070 points in the first 26 races. Do the math. The net effect is that a 25-point penalty falls unfairly hard on a Chase contender. That's simply not right."

Before the penalty, Edwards had 5,337 points -- three fewer than leader Jeff Gordon, one fewer than Tony Stewart and one more than Jimmie Johnson. A loss of 25 points puts Edwards 28 points behind Gordon