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NASCAR Cup: Team Penske crew member suspended

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 27: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, races during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 27, 2019 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Dave Nichols Jr., a tire technician on the No. 22 Team Penske team of Joey Logano in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, has been suspended from the next Cup Series race after his involvement in the post-race scuffle between Logano and Denny Hamlin after the First Data 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Sunday. The Cup Series next races at Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth on Nov. 3.

After Hamlin and Logano exchanged word and Logano gave Hamlin a slight push, Nichols pulled Hamlin to the ground.

“As we always say, we know emotions are going to run high, especially at this time of the season,” NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell said Monday on “The Morning Drive” show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The drivers, we don’t encourage it, but we know that they’re going to address each other after the race when they have an incident, and you saw that happen. Then, unfortunately, instead of kind of breaking up a fight, I think what we saw was an aggressive move by a crew member, so we called the team into the hauler, including Todd Gordon.”

Team Penske Competition Director Travis Geisler, Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon and Nichols were called to the NASCAR hauler, the sanctioning body’s at-the-track center of operations, after the race.

Logano and Hamlin exchanged words on pit road as a result on an on-track incident inch which Logano got into the wall after contact from Hamlin with 42 laps remaining. Logano spun as a result of the incident. Both drivers finished the race inside the top-10 — Hamlin fourth and Logano eighth. Both drivers are among the eight drivers remaining the 2019 playoffs with three drivers remaining.

The altercation involved only the two drivers and only words were exchanged before Logano pushed Hamlin, and then, Logano turned to walk away. Then, team members for both drivers got involved. Hamlin attempted to go after Logano but was held back by Gordon.

“We were having a discussion, and everything was civil and then, like Joey does, he gives a little push and runs away,” Hamlin said. “That’s Joey. I mean he said, ‘You want to go?’ I said ‘Yes, I’m here,’ but then, he runs away.”

NASCAR also fined four crew chiefs after the Martinsville race because of loose or missing lug nuts discovered after the race. Chad Knaus, crew chief on the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team of William Byron; Adam Stevens, crew chief on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team of Kyle Busch; Brian Pattie, crew chief on the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team of Rickty Stenhouse Jr.; and Jeremy Bullins, crew chief on the No. 12 Team Penske team of Ryan Blaney each were fined $10,000.

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Posted by on October 29, 2019. 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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