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NASCAR Cup: piece of tape costly for Chase Elliott’s team

Chase Elliott (24) leads Brad Keselowski (2), Denny Hamlin (11) and Kyle Larson (42) during the Nickelodeon Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 17 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Chase Elliott (24) leads Brad Keselowski (2), Denny Hamlin (11) and Kyle Larson (42) during the Nickelodeon Tales of the Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 17 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

A piece of tape applied to the top edge of the spoiler of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Chase Elliott during the Nickelodeon Tales of the Turtles 400, the first race of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., resulted in a $25,000 fined and a one-race suspension for crew chief Alan Gustafson, a one-race suspension for car chief Joshua Kirk, and 15-point deductions for Elliott and car owner Rick Hendrick. Also, Elliott’s second-place finish was classified as “encumbered” by NASCAR, and the points penalty dropped Elliott from sixth to eighth in the points standings.

In its penalty report, released on Tuesday, NASCAR cited a violation of section 20.20.a (Assembled Vehicle Overall Rules) of the 2017 rule book and included the following note:

“Modification of components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle. Race finish is encumbered per section 12.10 (Encumbered Race Finishes).

A crew member on the No. 24 car applied a piece of tape to the top edge of the rear spoiler on the car in a way that resulted in a portion of the tape coming lose and moving upward, increasing downforce on the car. A video circulating online shows a No. 24 crew member attempting to remove the tape behind Elliott as Elliott was interviewed for the live TV broadcast after the race. Another video circulating online shows a No. 24 crew member pulling the tape out of his pocket and applying it to the spoiler.

Hendrick Motorsports has announced that it won’t appeal the penalty. Kenny Francis, a former crew chief in the Cup Series, has been named interim crew chief for the Sept. 24 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Kevin Hulstein will be the car chief at NHMS.

NASCAR also issued two fines related to loose or missing lug-nuts, post-race, at Chicagoland. In the Cup Series, Jason Ratcliff, crew chief on the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team of Matt Kenseth was fined $10,000. Also, Jonathon Hanson, crew chief on the No. 98 Biagi-DenBeste Racing Ford that had Darrell Wallace Jr. as its driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland on Saturday, was fined $5,000.

Meanwhile, Gilbert Garcia, team for which he works unknown, was suspended indefinitely for a violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.

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 19, 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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