Friday, April 17, 2015

Todd Parrott returns to Cup garage to be crew chief for a day

   Former Sprint Cup Series championship crew chief Todd Parrott made an abbreviated return to the Cup garage on Friday serving as interim crew chief for Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 team and driver Ryan Newman while the team mulled whether to appeal its tire penalty again.

   Late Friday afternoon, RCR decided it would appeal its NASCAR penalty one more time to the Chief Appellate Officer, Bryan Moss. Until the appeal is heard, RCR's three suspended crew members - including regular crew chief Luke Lambert - can return to work.
   Parrott, who won the 1999 championship with driver Dale Jarrett, has most recently served as RCR’s competition director for its Xfinity Series programs.

   “I have a lot of years in the Cup garage,” Parrott said. “Hopefully, it shows the depth of RCR, while Luke is going through his deal here with his suspension. We have a great bunch of guys."
   Lambert, a team tire specialist and an engineer were all suspended six races by NASCAR for their involvement in a tire-tampering incident during the March 22 race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. 

   Most of the penalties assessed to RCR were upheld by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel. The CAO can overturn all the penalties, accept the appeals panel's decision or even increase the penalties. 

  Asked about the mood of the No. 31 team, which has lost 50 driver and owner points, Parrott said, "It's been tough because there has been a lot of focus, a lot of media attention on them and their team. The talks that Luke has had with the guys back at the shop, I feel like the mood of the team is really good."