Chase Elliott #9 hit with L1 penalty and $50,000 fine after Texas Motor Speedway
The No. 9 team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series from Hendrick Motorsports received an L1-level penalty for a violation found at the NASCAR R&D Center stemming from Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
The team was found to have violated Sections 188.8.131.52 (dealing with rear window support). A brace that supports the rear window did not meet specifications for keeping rear window glass rigid in all directions.
NASCAR fined crew chief Alan Gustafson $50,000 and suspended him for the next two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship points events. The team was assessed with the loss of 20 owner points and 20 driver points.
The team has the option to appeal to the National Motor Sports Appeals Panel.
Chase Elliott drove the No. 9 Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, which was won by Kyle Busch.
— NASCAR —
For those that didn’t catch it, this is the exact same penalty that Kevin Harvick received following his win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At speed, Harvick’s rear window would buckle and collapse.
In that case, the team stated it wasn’t intentional. Crew chief Rodney Childers stated that their window brace suffered a malfunction.
However, the rule states that the window must be steady in all directions, at all times. Thus, it didn’t matter if it was a mechanical function or not.
Kevin Harvick’s #4 had double infractions. In addition to the rear window bracing, the team also had illegal parts relating to the side-skirts.
Following Las Vegas, crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000. Car chief Robert Smith was suspended for two races. The team also was docked 20 driver points and 20 owner points.
In Chase Elliott’s case today, he was hit with the exact same penalty. The only difference is the car chief for Chase Elliott has not been suspended. The difference in penalties is likely just the single infraction opposed to the two that Harvick had at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.