By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Several Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series teams were issued penalties by NASCAR Wednesday, notably impacting Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team.
Elliott’s team received an L1-level penalty for a rear suspension violation following Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway, where he finished a season-high third.
The team was found to have violated Section 20.14.2, which deals with rear suspension and trailing arm angles/pinion angle shims. Elliott’s car didn’t meet the requirements as the Rule Book states it must be in complete contact at all points, at all times, and failure to do so creates additional sideforce.
Elliott’s team was penalized 25 driver and owner points. Crew chief Alan Gustafson was fined $50,000, and car chief Josh Kirk has been suspended for two races. The team will be granted an opportunity to appeal if they chose to do so.
The penalty drops Elliott to 23rd in the series standings, 25 points behind fellow Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman in 16th.
Seven other teams were penalized for having an unsecured lug nut in post-race inspection, five of which came from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 team), Ryan Blaney (Team Penske’s No. 12 team), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 17 team), Joey Logano (Team Penske’s No. 22 team) and Martin Truex, Jr. (Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 team) were the five drivers whose cars violated that rule. As a result, their respective crew chiefs — Mike Wheeler, Jeremy Bullins, Brian Pattie, Todd Gordon and Cole Pearn — were each fined $10,000.
The remaining two teams that faced consequences for having one lug nut not secured in post-race inspections were from the Xfinity Series, including race winner Brad Keselowski.
Keselowski’s crew chief Brian Wilson and Kyle Busch’s crew chief Eric Phillips were each fined $5,000.
Brandon J. Lee and Wayne F. Kanter have also been indefinitely suspended for behavioral penalties.