By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Points are excruciating heading into the Round of 12 cutoff race at Kansas Speedway Sunday, and Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 team piloted by Kyle Larson is no different as the team announced Thursday they’ll appeal their L1 penalty handed out earlier in the week.
NASCAR penalized Larson 10 driver points and Ganassi 10 owner points, fined crew chief Chad Johnston $25,000, and suspended car chief David Bryant due to an infraction found after last Sunday’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The infraction in subject was the Damage Vehicle Policy under section 10.9.9.d, which only permits teams to reattach original body parts of the car to their original locations with just fasteners and/or tape. The No. 42 team reattached their parts with metal tabs after Larson’s cut tire damaged his right front fender, which led to a single-car spin on the backstretch on Lap 104.
As a result of the penalty, Larson is now 36 points behind eighth-place Martin Truex, Jr., putting him in a must-win situation, which he hasn’t done since Richmond Raceway last September.
Chip Ganassi Racing issued a statement about the appeal process, feeling they’ve done nothing wrong when repairing the car.
“After receiving the penalty, the rule and the procedure that we used during the race in Talladega, we feel strongly that we did nothing wrong. Subsequently, we have decided to appeal the penalty.”
At the same time, they’ll soldier onto the task at hand, and that’s advancing into the Round of 8 after Larson suffered a heartbreaking blow in last year’s cutoff race when he lost an engine early in the race, eliminating him from championship contention.
“Despite going through the appeal process, we will do everything in our power to keep our team focused on the race this weekend in Kansas and the balance of the season.”
Larson’s last trip at Kansas was both dominate and controversial, leading 101 of 267 laps, but late-race contact with Ryan Blaney ultimately hurt his chances of winning and he ended up fourth. The finish was his first top-five at the 1.5-mile circuit since finishing runner-up in October 2014.