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NASCAR Cup: Daytona 500 engine changes carry extended penalty

Denny Hamlin drives his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota through the garage area at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Denny Hamlin drives his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota through the garage area at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

According to a NASCAR rule, a car is required to start a race in the back, regardless of where it qualifies, if its engine is changed at any point during that race weekend. According to Mike Wheeler, crew chief for Denny Hamlin on the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, there is an additional wrinkle in that rule for Daytona Speedweeks that will culminate in the Feb. 18 running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

During a call-in interview on the SiriusXM Speedway show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radiio on Wednesday, Wheeler said that an engine change during Daytona Speedweeks will result in starting two races in the back. After starting the Daytona 500 in the back, a team that makes an engine change at Daytona also will have to start in the back for the Feb. 25 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The additional penalty comes during longer, more demanding race preparations at Daytona. In addition to a front-row qualifying session, scheduled for Feb. 11, all Daytona 500 entries also will be required to run one of two Can-Am Duel 150-mile races that determine the Daytona 500 starting grid beyond the front row.

Meanwhile, starting in the back is less detrimental to a team’s chance of winning at Daytona than at many other tracks that host NASCAR national-level races.

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Posted by on February 7, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,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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