May 20, 2009

NASCAR hands out suspension, fine

NASCAR officials announced Wednesday the team of Sprint Cup driver Carl Long will be heavily penalized for using an unapproved engine last weekend.

Long has not been competitive in the Sprint Cup series this year, but that did not stop the NASCAR governing body from suspending him for the next 12 races, placing him on probation until Dec. 31 and taking away 200 points.

That puts Long in the minus category for points since he has not earned one all season.

Crew chief Charles Swing also was suspended until Aug. 18, placed on probation for the remainder of the year and fined a record $200,000.

NASCAR said Long's engine exceeded the maximum engine size of 358-cubic-inch displacement during a preliminary race at Lowe's Motor Speedway last weekend.

Long has made 23 career series starts, but has not qualified for a race since August 2006 at Bristol.