By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
Same story, different day.
For the fourth time this season, NASCAR has handed down post-race penalties for issues with the rear window support in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event.
Following last Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway, Kyle Larson and his No. 42 team were the latest to run afoul of the sanctioning body as they were penalized on Tuesday afternoon for the infraction.
The rear window in Larson’s car was found to not be flush to the deck lid, violating the rule that the “Rear Window Support Braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times.”
As a result of the violation, Chad Johnston, crew chief for the No. 42 team, was fined $50,000 and car chief David Bryant was suspended for the next two points paying events in the Cup Series. The team was also docked 20 driver and owner points.
After the Kansas race, Larson seemed to think his contact with Ryan Blaney late in the race contributed to the rear window brace issue, but obviously NASCAR saw things differently.
“I didn’t have it until after Blaney and I got together,” said Larson. “So, I’m glad to see that we have a lot of damage back there because obviously if there was no damage back there we would probably get a penalty and who knows, we might still.
“But I’ve got a ton of damage back there. These cars are pretty rigid and one piece of damage can affect the whole rest of the car, as you can see. So, we’ll see what NASCAR says about it, but I think it’s pretty obvious that we have a ton of damage back there.”
Chip Ganassi Racing put out a statement shortly after the penalty was handed down that they would not be appealing it.
“Although all parties agree that the infraction was unintentional and the result of contact, we will not appeal the penalty so that we can focus our energy on the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.”
Needless to say, NASCAR was not happy about having to keep dealing out the same penalties for the same violations over and over again. They’ve had enough at this point and noted that they will be escalating the penalties going forward.
“We have had too many of these rear window violations,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller. “This has to stop and from this point forward we’re prepared to ramp up the penalties to the high end of the L1 to see if we can get the message across.”
Should NASCAR have to give out this penalty again, the high end of the L1 spectrum gives them the leeway to up the fines to $75,000, increase suspensions to three races, and take up to 40 driver and owner points away from teams.