NASCAR driver/team owner Ricky Rudd and his crew chief, Bill Ingle, were fined a combined $50,000 Friday, a record, for having an illegal hydraulic device on their Ford entry for Sunday’s Winston Select 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Additionally, Ingle was placed on probation for the remaining 22 Winston Cup Series races this season. Rudd was ordered to pay $25,000 as team owner and $20,000 as driver. Ingle’s fine is $5,000.
The device, operated by part of the clutch pedal, was designed to raise the rear end of the No. 10 Thunderbird after it had been illegally lowered to improve aerodynamics at the ultrafast, 2.66-mile Talladega track.
NASCAR spokesman Kevin Triplett said the device was found in a routine inspection before qualifying.
Rudd, who contended that the setup was inoperable, said he does not plan to appeal. Rudd said the system was put on the car last winter for testing and that he thought it had been removed.
On the track, Terry Labonte powered to his first pole position in 109 races, leading a speed attack in the opening round of time trials.
Labonte, whose last previous pole came in August 1991 on the road course at Watkins Glen, N.Y., set the target early with a lap of 196.532 mph as the second of 46 drivers to make qualifying attempts.
Loy Allen Jr., who left his ride with Junior Johnson earlier this month at Bristol, Tenn., was back driving for the team with which he won three poles last year and surprised by taking the second spot at 195.977 in a Ford Thunderbird.
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