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NASCAR: both wins of Denny Hamlin’s Darlington sweep classified ‘encumbered’

Denny Hamlin celebrates in victory lane at Darlington Raceway after winning the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Denny Hamlin celebrates in victory lane at Darlington Raceway after winning the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Sept. 3, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Denny Hamlin swept the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway NASCAR “throwback” weekend that culminated in Sunday night’s running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500, but both those wins have been classified as “encumbered” because of the same rules violations, according to NASCAR’s weekly penalty announcement, released Wednesday.

Both Hamlin’s NASCAR Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series Joe Gibbs Racing cars had an issue with their truck trailing arm spacers/pinion angle shims. His Cup Series crew chief, Mike Wheeler, has been fined $50,000 and his Xfinity Series crew chief, Eric Phillips, was fined $25,000. Also, both crew chiefs have been suspended for two races.

Points were deducted, too. Hamlin lost 25 driver points for the Cup Series rules infraction, and both teams lost 25 owner points apiece in their respective series. With the Southern 500 win being deemed “encumbered,” the playoff point Hamlin garnered for the win also was lost. Hamlin had a previous win, so he still is locked into the playoffs.

Hamlin’s win of Sunday night’s Cup race was the second Cup win of 2017 deemed “encumbered” by NASCAR, the other being Joey Logano’s early-season win at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. But unlike Hamlin, Logano doesn’t have another win to fall back on and won’t make the playoffs, unless he repeats with another win at Richmond on Saturday night.

Hamlin’s Xfinity Series win Saturday was his second “encumbered” win of the season in that series.

Across the Cup and Xfinity series, a total of four crew chiefs have been issued suspensions following the Darlington race weekend.

Greg Ives, crew chief for the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Cup Series, for one race, because the No. 88 had two lug nuts either missing or loose after the Southern 500. He also was fined $20,000.

Hendrick Motorsports already has announced that it wound appeal the penalty, and Travis Mack will be the interim crew chief for Saturday night’s Richmond race. Mack’s regular position is car chief on the No. 88 team.

“We have a tremendous amount of confidence in Travis and everyone on the team,” Hendrick Motorsports Vice President of Competition Jeff Andrews said. “Our people have done a great job all year with the lug-nut rule. We won’t swell on it and will look forward to having Greg back on the box next week at Chicagolan.”

In the Xfinity Series, Greg Irwin, crew chief on the No. 22 Team Penske team that had Joey Logano as its driver in Saturday’s Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington, was suspended for two races and fined $25,000 for the same rules violation as Hamlin and JGR’s two penalized teams.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on September 6, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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