By Aaron Bearden, Contributing Writer
John Hunter Nemechek‘s climb to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship will be a little more steep than anticipated after the releasing of NASCAR’s latest penalty report.
Nemechek’s No. 8 Chevrolet was found to be outside of tolerances during post-race inspection following Saturday’s UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Due to the infraction, Nemechek’s No. 8 team has been docked 10 driver and owner points, and crew chief Gere Kennon has been fined $6,000 and placed on probation until the end of 2016.
The penalty comes as a major blow to Nemechek, who rallied to finish ninth after early issues at New Hampshire. The rookie now drops from fourth to seventh in the Chase standings, five points behind sixth-place Ben Kennedy. Only the top six drivers will advance onto the second round of the Chase after the end of the current round at Talladega Superspeedway. Nemechek will need to either rise in the point standings or make his way to victory lane to punch his ticket into the next round.
While Nemechek was the only drive penalized after New Hampshire, an assortment of Sprint Cup Series drivers were issued warnings. The teams of race-winner Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Matt DiBenedetto were issued written warnings for failing pre-qualifying LIS twice, Regan Smith’s No. 7 team was issued warnings for failing both pre-qualifying and pre-race LIS twice, and Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 team was issued a warning for failing pre-qualifying template inspection twice.
Outside of the Cup Series, the No. 51 and No. 18 XFINITY Series teams were issued written warnings for failing pre-race LIS twice, and the No. 50 Truck Series team was issued a written warning for failing template inspection four-times during pre-race.
None of the offending parties will be given any further penalty for their infractions.