Officials of the Supermodified Racing League ruled Monday against S&S Motorsports of Carson City in a protest filed after a race at Chaparral Speedway in Emmett, Idaho.
The protest was filed by car owners Tom Silsby and Steve Shaw after officials placed driver Troy Regier one lap down after the team changed a flat tire under red-flag conditions. SRL rules state a tire may be changed after a crash or damage from debris on the track, with the driver to go to the rear of the lead lap. A one-lap penalty is added if the tire is changed for reasons other than damage or a crash.
"We felt this decision was in the best interest of the rules," said Steve Fensler, executive director of the SRL. "There were 19 flats reported that night. Consequently, we felt it was a facility-related problem and rocks are not our definition of debris. Many cars suffered from it."
"They hemmed and hawed about the decision," said Shaw. "They said because debris is not defined in the rules, they can't say they knew what the debris was. We offered to show Wally (Elane, race director) the tire and he refused to look at it."
Shaw also spoke to Davey Hamilton, owner of the league and former IRL driver about the decision.
"He offered to pay us, from his personal account, the difference between eighth and third place for the results in question," Shaw said.
"It gives you the feeling he thought we were somewhat right in our protest, but would not give us the points difference of the two positions. It's not about the money. It's about the points.
"We have one of the most legal cars racing. We're always 10 pounds over at the scales ... we're racers. And we know you can win or lose a championship by 1 point. But this whole thing is very disappointing."
Going into the Chaparral race July 31, Regier held a 21-point lead over second-place driver Jim Birges after July 31 race results at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, Idaho. With officials penalizing Regier five positions after Saturday's race at Chaparral, Regier lost 10 points. According to the SRL's Web site and points configuration, Regier is still in the lead spot with 364 points; A.J. Russell, winner of the Chaparral race, moved into second position with 340 points, and Birges slipped to third with 339 points.
"Ten points is 10 points," Shaw said. "We felt we were unjustly penalized and the protest just didn't work in our favor."
There was good news for Silsby and Shaw because even though their protest was denied, they did move into the owner standings with 364 points. Ken Hamilton is second with 360.
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.