Story by: Langley Austin ~ [email protected]
Hickory, NC(July 7, 2009) — Brandon McReynolds finally got something to fall his way in the engine department this evening as we have confirmed that his disqualification from Saturday’s UARA-STARS Series race at Lonesome Pine Raceway has been overturned by the appeals board.
Team McReynolds and the UARA Officials presented facts of their side of the story to an impartial, unbiased appeals board made up of three different individuals not associated directly with the series. A source close to the situation first confirmed for RACE22.com that McReynolds disqualification from his third place finish at Lonesome Pine Raceway has been reversed and his finish reinstated and we have now talked to several of the individuals involved.
McReynolds himself was very happy about the situation, but understood why it happened the way it happened.
“It’s tough in that situation; We knew we hadn’t done anything wrong, so this decision is big for us,” said McReynolds in a phone interview. “That block has been in the series for years, so this was a bad miscommunication between us, the UARA and Dodge Motorsports.”
McReynolds was humble, he didn’t want to boast about the decision getting overturned and was supportive of the UARA-STARS Officials in their decision to disqualify him.
“I don’t disagree with their decision to throw us out, they did their job. They didn’t like what they saw, so they went back and did some research and decided that the block was illegal. They did their job and as a competitor that’s all you can ask.”
UARA-STARS Series President, Kerry Bodenhamer didn’t get into great detail about the decision, but said that while he feels his officials made the right call on Saturday night, he also feels that the appeals board did their job.
“The whole process went great, it’s a tough situation,” said Bodenhamer. “The appeals board made a good decision based on the facts presented to them. They did their job and we thank them for that.”
With the overturned decision, McReynolds has been reinstated as the third place finisher and will receive all points and awards for his performance in the UARA 150 at Lonesome Pine Raceway. Bodenhamer said that he was pleased with the appeals board decision even though when he walked into the meeting he didn’t feel that way.
“I had done a lot of research on this and thought that we had all our facts together, but after reading a letter from Dodge Motorsports regarding this particular block I found out that there was more to this situation than meets the eye,” continued Bodenhamer. “We made the right call on Saturday based on the information we had and the board made the right decision based on the information they had in front of them.”
Bodenhamer stated that he felt that there was no intent on McReynolds part and that the part that was in question before is tentatively legal, but won’t be legalized until more research can be done.
“We’ve got some more work to do and I’ve got some phone calls to make, but tentatively right now the part is legal, but we’ll have some official information when we make an official decision sometime on Wednesday hopefully.”
We first reported yesterday that the part and unapproved machine work was the same as it was on the engine disqualified at Concord Speedway last fall belonging to Matt DiBenedetto and the Dewalt Motorsports team. Today, it was explained to me that the engine first appeared the same, but wasn’t after a further look into the situation.
“It’s not comparable; It’s like comparing apples and oranges. At first look it appeared to be the same thing, but once we were presented with further evidence we determined that it was at all the same,” said Bodenhamer. “DiBenedetto’s team was offered an appeal and declined it.”
“Ours wasn’t the same as (Matt)DiBenedetto’s as it was explained to me. It looked like it, so it alarmed the officials and I understand that,” said McReynolds.
Neither party was happy to have to go through this deal, but both sides came out having learned a lot about the Dodge engine and McReynolds was vindicated with a moral victory.
“They don’t deal with Dodge engines very often, so it was a tough deal for all of us. I think they learned a lot from this and I know we did, so we’ll just move on and try to continue improving our season,” said McReynolds. “We’ve been fast, but if it wasn’t a blown engine it was a cut tire and then a bad tire at Hickory, we’ve just not been able to shake this bad luck completely yet.”
“It’s a tough situation, but everything was handled in a professional manner and although I feel we made the right decision Saturday, the appeal board also made the right decision,” concluded Bodenhamer.
As was said by both parties the whole situation was tough on everyone, but in the end the right decision was made and everyone comes out of the deal with a new found respect for each other. Every competitor that races in the UARA can be proud to be a part of a series that will work this hard to make sure that their decisions are correct.
If there is any more information that comes out of this deal, you can be sure that RACE22.com will be on top of it as we have been from the start covering it like no one else can.