Hendrick Motorsports comments as they will appeal the penalty and $400,000 fine for modified hood louvers
On Friday, NASCAR confiscated hood louvers from the Hendrick Motorsports machines of the No.5, No. 9, No. 24 and No. 48. Additionally, the confiscated the louvers from the Kaulig Racing No. 31 car.
NASCAR confiscates parts from Hendrick Motorsports at Phoenix Raceway
Those louvers were taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further evaluation. On Wednesday, NASCAR threw the book at both teams.
The louvers were discovered just ahead of the first practice session. Given the timing, NASCAR allowed all five teams to run the opening practice with the modified louvers. They were then collected after practice.
All five teams installed different louvers and competed in the weekend’s events. Hendrick Motorsports went on to grab the victory.
NASCAR issues penalty for hood louvers
Five crew chiefs are suspended for four races. Additionally, each car was fined $100,000. With four cars from a single team, it makes the $400,000 fine the largest penalty issued to a single team in the history of the sport.
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Each car was docked 100 owner points as well as 100 driver points in addition to 10 playoff points. (Chase Elliott’s No. 9 team is the exception as he was not docked driver points or playoff points as Josh Berry was a fill-in driver as Elliott is out due to an injury.
Teams Penalized: No. 5 Chevrolet driven by Kyle Larson, the No. 9 of Josh Berry (subbing for the injured Chase Elliott), the No. 24 of William Byron and the No. 48 of Alex Bowman and the No. 31 of Justin Haley.
Crew chiefs suspended: Cliff Daniels, Alan Gustafson, Rudy Fugle and Blake Harris for Hendrick and Trent Owens for Kaulig.
Sections 126.96.36.199.A : The section relates to hood the radiator hood vents are assembled. Each of the five teams were found to have modified a stock single-source part.
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Hendrick Motorsports statement
However, shortly after the penalty was announced, Hendrick Motorsports has stated they intend to appeal the penalty.
“We are disappointed with today’s decision by NASCAR to issue penalties and have elected to appeal based on a variety of facts that include:”
– “Louvers provided to team through NASCAR’s mandated single-source supplier do not match the design submitted by the manufacture and approved by NASCAR.”
– “Documented inconsistent and unclear communication by the sanctioning body specifically related to louvers.”
– “Recent comparable penalties issued by NASCAR have been related to issues discovered during a post-race inspection.”
Crew Chief Replacements:
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Update: Kaulig Racing Statement
On Thursday, Kaulig Racing issued the following statement:
“Kaulig Racing will appeal the L2 penalty issued by NASCAR following the confiscation of a louver found on the No. 31 Chevrolet this past weekend at Phoenix Raceway.”
“Prior to qualifying on Saturday, only one of the two louvers on the No. 31 car was confiscated, showing inconsistencies in the parts provided to teams from NASCAR’s single source supplier, providing no competitive advantage.”
“We will be requesting deferral of crew chief suspension until after the appeal hearing.”
Phoenix Race Results: March 12, 2023 (NASCAR Cup Series)
Kyle Larson | Josh Berry | William Byron | Alex Bowman | Hendrick Motorsports | Phoenix Raceway | NASCAR