Richmond International Raceway winner Joey Logano Rear Suspension Violation – Win encumbered
NASCAR on Thursday issued an L1-level penalty to Team Penske’s No. 22 team for a rear suspension violation discovered during teardown at the R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina. The penalty carries multiple consequences, which includes making Joey Logano’s win at Richmond on Sunday encumbered.
The encumbered win is the first for a victorious Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team since NASCAR adopted that policy in 2016. What that means is Logano cannot use the Richmond win as consideration for an automatic playoff spot. Should Logano still make the postseason, the five playoff points that come with a victory would not apply for Richmond. The official race record will still list Logano as the winner.
Additional penalties are a $50,000 fine and two-race suspension for crew chief Todd Gordon, and the loss of 25 driver points and 25 owner points.
The violation was under Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book. According to the penalty grid NASCAR issued, the No. 22 team did not adhere to the following: 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.
In a statement, Team Penske announced it would not appeal the penalties.
“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.”
The statement continued, “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 toward 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.”
Other NACSAR Richmond penalties issued Thursday include:
• The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has an unsecured lug nut in a post-race check Sunday at Richmond International Raceway. Crew chief Mike Wheeler was handed a $10,000 fine after one lug nut was found to be improperly secured. The infraction was noted after driver Denny Hamlin recorded a season-best third-place finish in the Toyota Owners 400.
• Three teams in the NASCAR XFINITY Series also drew penalties for lug-nut infractions, the most severe of which was issued to the Richard Childress Racing No. 21 Chevrolet, driven to a third-place finish from the pole at Richmond by rookie Daniel Hemric. The car was found with two unsecured lug nuts, resulting in a $10,000 fine and a one-race suspension for crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. Chad Walter will serve as the team’s crew chief at Talladega.
Two other teams were dealt $5,000 crew chief fines for one unsecured lug nut each: the No. 3 driven by Ty Dillon (crew chief: Matt Swiderski) and the No. 46 driven by Quin Houff (crew chief: Mark Setzer).
The guidelines for post-race lug-nut violations are a part of the sport’s deterrence system, updated by competition officials in the offseason for the 2017 NASCAR Rule Book.