NASCAR crew chief visited the NASCAR hauler after the NASCAR race at Richmond Raceway
On Sunday, NASCAR unloaded in Richmond, Virginia. The 0.75-mile oval of Richmond Raceway hosted the NASCAR Cup Series in the first points paying short track race of the season.
Hear from crew chief Ben Beshore below.
On lap 345 of 400, Kyle Busch has handed a black flag. The violation was related to a tiny piece of tape placed on the front grill of the No. 18 machine.
On lap 351, Busch pitted to serve the penalty. He was running in 6th at the time.
The penalty came several laps after the tape was installed. The team was apparently installed two pit stops prior.
However, NASCAR stated they took time to review the pit stop, making sure the tape was installed by the team itself and not a piece of tape debris picked up while on track.
The black flag to Kyle Busch was the first penalty issued for grill tape this year.
Ben Beshore comments
“We missed putting brake tape on and that’s what happened,” Beshore said.
The crew chief added, “I didn’t think it would stick, to be honest. I thought it would fall off and it wouldn’t be a problem because the grilles are…wire and big fat openings. I figured as soon as we went and pushed somebody it would fly right off.”
After the race, the crew chief of the No. 18 visited the NASCAR hauler.
“I told them when it happened,” Beshore said.
2022 is the year of a new set of rules. Those rules stem from the addition of the Next Gen car. The car is a spec chassis, identical from team to team in an effort to level the playing field.
Highlights of the new car include a massive reduction of downforce to improve the racing product. In years past, teams would install as much tape on the grill as possible, in an effort to increase front downforce.
For 2022, NASCAR doesn’t allow grill tape of any kind. However, teams can still install tape to block air ducts that cool the brakes. With much bigger brakes, teams weren’t using much brake to get around Richmond Raceway.
In that case, tape on the brake duct would increase brake temperature, making them work better due to the light use.
Joe Gibbs comments
Joe Gibbs went to victory lane with Denny Hamlin. In the media center after the race, he commented on the penalty to his No. 18 car.
Gibbs noted that he hadn’t spoken to NASCAR regarding the penalty to Kyle Busch.
“I haven’t, but I will,” team owner Joe Gibbs stated.
“I think the point was, when that happened, if that was a penalty, then address it. And it wasn’t until, I think two stops later,” he said.
Gibbs added, “I think that’s our concern of, you know, because that would completely change their strategy. So I think that’ll be something we discuss and go over.”
The team owner was frustrated it took so long for the penalty to be issued. He would have preferred the penalty had been issued shortly after the tape was installed.