A hearing will take place this morning on the appeal of the NASCAR rules violation
NASCAR Playoffs contender Kyle Larson was hit with a crucial 10 point penalty following Talladega last week
Kyle Larson had all kinds of problems at Talladega Superspeedway. The biggest was when he blew a rear tire down the back stretch at some 200 mph. He didn’t hit anything but the lack of a rear tire sent Larson for a spin. The problems expanded when the skid from the spin also cut the right front tire. It exploded and took out the right front fender.
The team made repairs. Rather remarkably, Larson salvaged an 11th place finish following the event.
“We just had a terrible race car and were really slow all weekend,” Larson said after the race. “We were able to salvage a decent finish, but the Fords are so fast here and can rack up a lot of stage points.
“Even when they have a bad day, they still gain points on us. It is what it is. We’ll just go to Kansas and try and win.”
Then, they were hit with a 10 point penalty, a fine and a car chief suspension.
After the race, NASCAR has stated that Chip Ganassi Racing and Kyle Larson are in violation of the damaged vehicle policy section. Under that policy, teams are given 6 minutes total in repair time for a car to reach minimum speed. After that, the car is given three laps in attempts to reach minimum speed.
Ironically, Kyle Larson used every bit of a loophole in this rule at The Roval. His car suffered heavy damage with just a few laps left in the event. Larson finished the race by bouncing off the walls. There wasn’t three laps left in the event, Larson could go as slow as needed. The minimum speed rule couldn’t apply, unless the closing run to the final would have been just one lap longer.
In the course of repairs while on the damage vehicle clock, teams are only allowed to use the original bodywork. They can no longer have spare body pieces, nose cones or deck lids on hand to install on the race car. No matter how bent the sheetmetal is, that’s all you have to work with.
The original body work can be attached with tape and or fasteners. In addition, the body panels have to be attached in their original locations.
After the race, NASCAR lines up all playoff drivers on pit road for inspection. In this case, series officials determined that metal tabs used for the sheetmetal repairs were against their rule book.
NASCAR only caught the infraction after the race. If they caught the repair during the race, he would have been parked in the event.
A video clip of the quick repairs is posted below.
Now, the team is going to appeal the penalty:
“After reviewing the penalty, the rule and the procedure that we used during the race in Talladega, we feel strongly that we did nothing wrong,” a team statement read.
“Subsequently, we have decided to appeal the penalty. Despite going through the appeal process, we will do everything in our power to keep our team focused on the race this weekend in Kansas and the balance of the season,” the statement concluded.
Kyle Larson is the lone CGR machine left in contention in the NASCAR Playoffs. With the 10 point penalty, he’s currently 71 points back, 36 below the cut off line and really needs a win in the elimination round at Kansas Speedway.
Car chief David Bryant was suspended following the penalty. The car chief’s suspension will be postponed until the completion of the hearing.
Kyle Larson #42 – L1 Penalty
Infraction: “Section 10.9.9.d – Damaged Vehicle Policy/Mechanical Repair Note: Damaged vehicle repair, regardless of how the damage occurred, is permitted to have original body parts removed or reattached in their original location with fasteners and/or tape only.”
Penalty: “Crew chief (Chad Johnston) has been fined $25,000. Car chief (David Bryant) has been suspended from the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship points event. Team has been assessed with the loss of 10 driver points and 10 owner points.”
In total, 5 teams were hit with penalties following the Talladega Superspeedway weekend. Two of those came in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
Appeal Hearing: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel will hear the appeal on Friday at 8:30 a.m. local time at Kansas Speedway. Three members independent from the series sanction will hear the appeal.