NASCAR penalises Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing

Clint Bowyer's 2015 Sprint Cup championship aspirations have taken a huge hit after NASCAR penalised his Michael Waltrip Racing team for a technical irregularity at Chicagoland last weekend

NASCAR penalises Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing

Bowyer was docked 25 points due to series officials discovering incorrectly-installed parts on the #15 Toyota.

The punishment that drops him to last among the 16 Chase contenders, with just two races remaining before four drivers are eliminated.

In addition to the points penalty, crew chief Billy Scott was fined $75,000, suspended for the next three races, and placed on probation for six months.

MWR has appealed the decision.

"MWR has made mistakes in the past, but we feel we are correct in this instance," said a team statement.

"We look forward to the opportunity to present our case to the appeals committee and have no further public comment until the process is completed."

The Waltrip team, which is in its final season of competition, has been involved in a series of controversies in recent years.

Martin Truex Jr was famously thrown out of the Chase in 2013 after NASCAR determined that MWR had manipulated the final regular-season race in order to earn his spot in the title run-off. The subsequent fall-out also led to the departure of sponsor NAPA.

In 2007, an additive normally associated with jet fuel was found in the tanks of team owner Michael Waltrip's car ahead of the Daytona 500.

The latest penalty comes less than a fortnight after the team announced that it will shut down after the final race of this season, putting more than 200 crew members out of work.

Bowyer is believed to have already secured a new drive for next year.

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