NASCAR team owner Richard Childress talks the alternator violation at Michigan International Speedway
Michigan International Speedway hosted the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series over the weekend.
Austin Dillon sat at the top of the time sheets in the Friday afternoon practice session. A qualifying run with under a minute to go placed him in that position.
Hours later, cars rolled through inspection for the first time. All cars cleared as they took to the track for qualifying.
Austin Dillon put his Richard Childress Racing #3 in the 7th position. His teammate, Daniel Hemric put his #8 in the 11th position.
The starting lineup was now set for Sunday’s race. Until officials took another look at both cars.
Scott Miller gave Richard Childress a call. He informed the NASCAR team owner that both times for his cars had been disallowed.
NASCAR ruled that the alternator on the #3 and the #8 were a violation of the rules. Essentially, they did not function.
Richard Childress on the alternator violation
“We were wrong,” Richard Childress told Claire B Lang.
“But, if you interpret the rules like it’s written then just about everybody in the field was wrong.”
“NASCAR’s got their way of doing it. I gotta agree, we were wrong. But, like I told them, I think everybody was wrong.”
“Cause, if you have a functional alternator, you gotta be turning it with a belt. Nobody uses a belt when they qualify.”
“That’s why there was a little miscommunication or a misunderstanding of the rules. But, I’m not even sure ours aren’t function. We never really wound them up to 10,000 rpm.”
Disconnecting the alternator allows a fraction more horsepower to be directed at the parts that make race cars go fast. Every team takes the belt off for the short 1-2 lap sessions.
“You can take your alternator belts off. Then, the rules say you have to have a functional alternator. At the same time, they can’t be functional without a belt turning it.”
“It’s just how you do it. All you do is laugh about it, hope everything works out good and we get back up front where we belong.”
RCR L1 penalty
Each crew chief was fined $25,000. A total of $50,000 for the crew chiefs inside the RCR stable.
Each car also lost 10 drivers points and 10 owner points.
But, here’s a question you’ve always had. Who pays that fine? Do the crew chiefs really pay or does the team reimburse them? In the case of RCR, that depends…
“The crew chiefs will pay that,” Richard Childress responded.
“I don’t know about this one. Because, in their mind, there is a gray part of it on the functional alternator. And I do kind of agree with them in that an alternator can’t function if it doesn’t have an alternator belt on it.”
“Ours were not what you would call functional. But, I don’t know that they wouldn’t function if you turn them at 10,000 rpm.”
“If it’s something that they did on their own, they pay it. If it’s something the company wide, we pay it.”
The team as until noon on Monday to decide if they’d like to appeal the penalty and fines from the weekend.
“As of right now, no. I don’t know for sure yet, we’re going to decide Monday,” the NASCAR team owner stated.
“I’m frustrated with my people and I’m frustrated with NASCAR. I had my conversation with them Sunday morning. They know how I stand.”
“I’ll have conversation with my people on Monday morning. “
Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric started at the tail of the field. They were driving through the pack.
Late in the race, Aric Almirola stuffed Hemric in the wall as he ran out of room off turn four. That collision then collected Austin Dillon as well. Both RCR machines were taken out in the same incident.