By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
A.J. Allmendinger had a decent start to the 2017 season going after finishing third in the Daytona 500, and surviving for a 26th place effort in Atlanta, but when his car made it back to the garage for post-race inspection NASCAR found that his No. 47 Chevrolet SS had three lug nuts that were not properly fastened.
NASCAR announced Atlanta penalties Wednesday, and Allmendinger and his No. 47 team have been docked 35 championship driver and owner points. His crew chief Randall Burnett has also been fined $65,000 and he has been suspended for the next three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.
What this penalty means is that Allmendinger netted -24 points in race two of the season, meaning that it would’ve benefitted the team more in the point standings if they had not raced. Allmendinger now sits 34th in the championship standings heading into Las Vegas.
Other penalties announced Wednesday also included Kyle Busch’s NASCAR Xfinity Series No. 18 team, which failed post-race tech when their Camry was too low on the front end on both sides. The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 team will lose 10 championship owner points, and crew chief Scott Graves’ wallet will be $10,000 lighter and he will watch this week’s Xfinity Series race from his couch.
And finally the No. 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado, which was driven by Chase Elliott in Atlanta suffered a couple of infractions.
The truck measured too low in post-race inspection and the truck also had lug nuts improperly installed as well.
Crew chief Jeff Stankieiwcz has been fined a total of $7,500 for the two infractions, and he will miss the next Camping World Truck Series race. The team will also lose 10 championship owner points.