(CONCORD, N.C.) — Ryan Newman will make the Chase after all.
Newman will replace Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase for the Sprint Cup after NASCAR penalized Michael Waltrip Racing for manipulating the results of last Saturday’s race at Richmond.
MWR teammates Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and Truex were all penalized 50 points. That drops Truex from the second Wild Card position, a position Newman takes over.
“Based upon our review of Saturday night’s race at Richmond, it is our determination that the MWR organization attempted to manipulate the outcome of the race,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “As the sport’s sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that.”
Newman had the lead in Richmond Saturday with seven laps remaining. If he won the race he would have guaranteed himself the second Wild Card. But Bowyer proceeded to spin out, leading to a caution. That led to a chain of events that eventually left Newman out and Truex in the Chase.
“I am proud that NASCAR took a stand with respect to what went on Saturday night at Richmond,” Newman said in a statement. “I know it was a tough decision to make. With that being said, myself, (crew chief) Matt Borland and this entire No. 39 team are looking forward to competing for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.”
MWR was also fined $300,000, and general manager Ty Norris was suspended indefinitely.
The 10-race Chase starts at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN