Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Smith Gets Points Back

Following on from last week's blog post about Bryan Smith's disqualification, the AMA have reversed the decision. Below is their official release...

AMA Pro Racing announced today that an independent Appeal Board has heard and considered the appeal of a technical protest filed by No. 1 Jared Mees against No. 42 Bryan Smith on August 20, 2016 at the Central New York Half-Mile, Round 12 of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track season.

The technical protest concerned a rear wheel assembly alleged to be out of compliance with Rule 3.22.h of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook:

3.22 Weight Limits and Weighing Procedures
h. All chassis ballast must be fixed to the frame. Under no conditions is it allowable to add chassis ballast as rotating mass to the wheels outside of normal balancing procedures.
In post-race technical inspection, the wheel was retained by AMA Pro Racing staff for further investigation where it was deemed to be out of compliance. The original penalty assessed included disqualification of the #42 and loss of championship points and purse for the Central New York Half-Mile following the issuance of a Penalty Notice.

Earlier today, the Appeal Board, which consisted of a non-voting chairperson from AMA Pro Racing and three voting members not affiliated with AMA Pro Racing and with no material interest in the matter at hand, heard the appeal and examined evidence presented by Smith. 

After an executive session, the Appeal Board made the decision to reverse the original Penalty levied by AMA Pro Racing and restore the finishing position and points earned by Smith at the Central New York Half-Mile.

The appeal board has issued the following statement:
"After considering evidence presented by AMA Pro Racing and Bryan Smith, the Appeals Board identified a series of central questions:
  1. Is the wheel technically legal according to the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rules?
  2. If not, was the team given permission by AMA Pro Racing to utilize the wheel in competition?
  3. If the team was given permission, was that permission rescinded according to the rulebook at any moment in time after they were given permission?
The following language in the introduction to the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook was a determining factor in today's decision: 'If any rule is unclear to the entrant or competitor, the entrant or competitor is advised to get written approval prior to any modifications. Requests for rule clarifications or interpretations must be submitted in writing by riders and teams to AMA Pro Racing.'

The Appeals Board has determined that, regardless of whether or not the wheel is technically legal according to the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track rules, AMA Pro Racing officials gave Smith's team written permission to utilize the wheel in competition, and that the permission was not rescinded in writing at any point. 

On that basis, the team was acting in good faith by competing with the wheel and, therefore, the disqualification upon technical protest is not considered to be valid and Smith's finishing position and points are to be restored."

The decision of the Appeals Board is final and binding on all parties.

AMA Pro Racing is committed to sanctioning a professional series with safety and fairness for all competitors as primary objectives. The AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook is currently undergoing an exhaustive review of language, policies and procedures in order to provide a solid platform for fostering competition on the racetrack. AMA Pro Racing will study the conclusion of the Appeals Board and implement protocols to ensure a fair, equitable and transparent process for rule-setting and enforcement. AMA Pro Racing will provide additional information on rules and procedures following an internal review.

As the AMA go on to explain, 'With his points restored, Smith now leads Mees by 2 points, 221-219, heading into the season finale at Santa Rosa.'

That is going to be a wild race. It's a mile, it could be Smith's year, but anything can happen. Winning the Dash for Cash gains points. Leading the most laps gains points. Mees is a fighter, and there are only two points in it. I've just been reminded the race was cancelled because of mist a few years ago. I hope that doesn't happen again, because I'M GOING! G

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