NASCAR hands out penalties, warnings after Phoenix International Raceway
No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch
By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR issued fines to two crew chiefs, one in the Sprint Cup Series and one in the Xfinity Series, and placed an Xfinity crew chief on a one-race suspension since the recent Phoenix International Raceway weekend that included the Ticket Galaxy 200 Xfinity Series race on Nov. 12 and the Can-Am 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Nov. 13.
According to the weekly NASCAR penalty/warning report released on Wednesday, crew chief Adam Stevens of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team of driver Kyle Busch was fined $10,000 because not all lug nuts were properly installed and secured at the end of the Sprint Cup race Sunday.
In the Xfinity Series, crew chief Kevin Meendering was fined and suspended for a similar infraction. Meendering’s No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, driven by Elliott Sadler, had only 18 of the required 20 lug nuts properly installed and secured at the end of the Xfinity Series race. As a result, he was fined $10,000 and suspended for the Nov. 19 Xfinity Series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR issued the stiff penalty because the Phoenix race weekend was the second-straight race weekend in which the No. 1 team violated the same lug nut rule.
JR Motorsports already has announced that Mike Bumgarner will fill-in for Meendering atop the No. 1 pit box at Homestead.
NASCAR also issued several written warnings as a result of inspection issues during the Phoenix race weekend. The No. 2 Team Penske Ford team of Brad Keselowski received a written warning and was docked 15 minutes of practice time as a result of the No. 2 failing pre-race laser inspection three times. The penalty is expected to be served during the Homestead-Miami Speedway weekend that will culminate in Sunday’s running of the Ford EcoBoost 400. The team also received a written warning for twice failing pre-race template inspection.
The No. 22 Team Penske Ford team of Joey Logano, the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team of Chase Elliott and the No. 98 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet team of Reed Sorenson received written warnings for failing pre-race laser inspection twice.
The No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet of Danica Patrick received a warning for twice failing pre-qualifying template inspection, while the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota team of Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 95 Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet of Michael McDowell received a written warning for failing pre-qualifying laser inspection twice.
Several written warnings were issued to Xfinity Series teams for two failures in pre-race laser inspections. Teams receiving warnings included the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team of Ty Dillon, the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford of D.J. Kennington, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team of Kyle Busch, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team of Erik Jones, the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team of Brandon Jones, and the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The Camping World Truck Series also raced at Phoenix last weekend, but no issues or penalties were handed out to teams in that series.