After winning last weekend at Richmond International Raceway, Joey Logano and his No. 22 team received some unwelcome news on Thursday morning as NASCAR penalized the team for a violation discovered in post-race teardown at the NASCAR R&D Center.
The violation that NASCAR found was in the rear suspension area of the car and was an infraction against Section 20.14.2 of the NASCAR Rule Book: “The Truck trailing arm spacer / pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.”
As a result, Logano’s Richmond win will be encumbered and will not count toward an automatic playoff spot. For Logano to make the playoffs, he will have to win another race between now and the regular season finale at Richmond in September or race in on points. Should he still make the playoffs, the five playoff points he earned as a result of the win at Richmond will not count in the postseason either.
Thursday’s penalty was the first time NASCAR has stripped the benefits of a victory from a race winner since moving to the encumbered finish system last season.
Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon was also assessed a $50,000 fine, a two-race suspension, as well as the team losing 25 driver and owner points. This means Gordon will be out for this weekend’s race at Talladega and next week at Kansas.
“We understand and accept the penalty that was communicated to us today by NASCAR following last weekend’s victory by the No. 22 car at Richmond,” said Team Penske in a statement. “We are disappointed by the notice, however, we do not plan to appeal the penalty. The No. 22 team remains focused on competing for wins as we work towards the NASCAR Playoffs and a Championship. Race Engineer Miles Stanley will serve as Joey Logano’s crew chief this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, while Greg Erwin will help call race strategy on Sunday.”
Though the win is encumbered and will not count toward the playoffs, the records will still show Logano as the race winner.