$50,000 in NASCAR fines issued; Chase Elliott/Christopher Bell crew chiefs ejected
Today, the NASCAR Cup Series takes the green flag in Watkins Glen, New York. We’re just hours ahead of the start at Watkins Glen International.
View Watkins Glen inspection issues below.
Ahead of the race, teams must roll through inspection. The NASCAR Cup Series has yet to touch the track due to a lack of practice and qualifying.
Chase Elliott is heading into the weekend looking for three wins in a row on the New York road course. The team has made that harder for him as he’ll be coming for the back.
The No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team failed inspection twice. Per the rules, crew chief Alan Gustafson has been ejected.
Additionally, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Christopher Bell has also been penalized and will lose their starting postion. Crew chief Adam Stevens has also been ejected.
Both teams have been handed L1 penalties for the violation. They were both found in violation of rules 220.127.116.11.a and 18.104.22.168.b noting rear-window air deflectors.
Both teams have been handed a 10 point penalty. That’s in addition to a $25,000 fine for each team.
Hendrick Motorsports comments
“Unfortunately today at Watkins Glen, the No. 9 car had an issue at technical inspection,” Hendrick Vice President of Competition Chad Knaus said in a team release.
“The team has been assessed with an L1 penalty and Alan has been suspended from the race. Tom Gray, lead engineer of the No. 9, will take over calling the race in Alan’s absence.”
Knaus added, “It’s an unfortunate circumstance for Alan, Chase and the race team. We apologize to our fans and partners associated with the No. 9 team, and will now focus forward on achieving the best possible results in today’s race.”
NASCAR Inspection Rules
1 NASCAR Inspection failure: No penalty, the team gets to go to the back of the inspection line and try again.
2 NASCAR inspection failure: If a team fails twice, NASCAR will send that car to the rear of the field.
3 NASCAR inspection failures: They have to start at the rear. In addition, the car has to serve a pass through penalty on pit lane at the start of the race.
Typically, NASCAR crew members are ejected on a second failure. However, due to a lack of practice and/or qualifying in recent events, series officials have given less-strict ejections for failed pre-race inspections.