The sanctioning body has announced penalties impacting three national series teams. NASCAR has indefinitely suspended three crew members working in the Xfinity Series and Cup Series.
According to a press release on December 3, Johnny Roten has received an indefinite suspension for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy and sections 4.1; 18.104.22.168; 4.3; 4.4, and 4.4.e of the NASCAR rulebook.
Roten served as the crew chief of the No. 13 Motorsports Business Management Cup Series car for 14 races in 2021 and worked with five different drivers. Timmy Hill made five starts while David Starr made six. James Davison, JJ Yeley, and Chad Finchum all made one start each.
John Byrd Jr. and Austin Zivich both received indefinite suspensions for violating NASCAR’s behavioral policy and sections 4.3; 4.4; 4.4.e of the NASCAR rulebook. Byrd served as the hauler driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Cup Series team during the 2021 season while working with Anthony Alfredo.
Zivich served as the car chief for the No. 78 BJ McLeod Motorsports Xfinity Series entry. He worked with Jesse Little for 22 races and Mason Massey for five races. Sheldon Creed, Ryan Ellis, Andy Lally, Stefan Parsons, and Akinori Ogata all made one start each in the No. 78 entry.
Byrd Faces Charges of Felony Child Abuse in Caldwell County
According to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office records, authorities arrested Byrd on November 22 on a charge of “felony child abuse by allowing sexual assault on minor.” He remains in custody on a $75,000 secured bond. Byrd will appear in a Caldwell County Court on December 13 to face the felony charge.
According to Caldwell County jail records viewed by Heavy, the 53-year-old Byrd remains in custody at the Caldwell County Detention Center. He has been in jail since he was booked on November 22, records show.
Felony child abuse by allowing sexual assault on a minor falls under the classification of a Class D felony, per North Carolina General Statute 14-318.4. “Any parent or legal guardian of a child less than 16 years of age who commits or allows the commission of any sexual act upon the child is guilty of a Class D felony.”
A Class D felony has a potential punishment of 38 to 160 months in prison. According to Browning & Long, an offender may have to register on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry for life.
Zivich Has 2 Upcoming Court Dates in Iredell County
According to the Mooresville Tribune, authorities arrested Zivich, 26, on November 29 on charges of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was released on a $50,000 bond the same day.
According to North Carolina General Statute 14-190.17A, “a person commits the offense of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor if, knowing the character or content of the material, he possesses material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity.”
North Carolina views third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor as a Class H felony. This class results in a sentence of four to 25 months, per the Sparrow Law Firm.
According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch calendar, Zivich has two upcoming court dates. He will appear in Iredell County Court on December 13 to face the charge of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He will also appear in court on December 17 to face a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure.