NASCAR penalties after Atlanta Motor Speedway include three crew chief suspensions
No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet of A.J. Allmendinger (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
Penalties announced by NASCAR on Wednesday for rules infractions committed during the March 3-5 race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway included the suspensions of three crew chiefs, one each from NASCAR’s three national series.
Crew chief Randall Burnett of the No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet team of driver A.J. Allmendinger was suspended from the next three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series becaause the No. 47 car only had 17 of the required 20 lug nuts properly secured at the end of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. The suspension will keep Burnett out for the entire West Coast swing that begins with Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and also includes races at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Burnett also was assessed a $65,000 fine. Allmendinger and the race team were docked 35 driver and car owner points.
Allemdinger finished 26th, three laps down, at Atlanta. The points penalty drops him from 11th to 34th in the points standings.
In the Xfinity Series, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Kyle Busch to the race win in Saturday’s race at Atlanta, failed post-race inspection. Both front corners of the car failed to meet NASCAR’s minimum height requirements. As a result, crew chief Scott Graves was fined $10,000 at suspended from the next three Xfinity Series races. Like the Cup Series, the next three Xfinity Series races are the West Coast swing races at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Auto Club.
Also, the team was docked 10 car owner points. Busch does not collect points in the Xfinity Series. As a result of the failed inspection, Busch’s win was declared encumbered by NASCAR, so the No. 18 team cannot depend on the Atlanta win to get into the Xfinity Series playoffs. If the team gets into the playoffs, anyway, it will not receive playoff bonus points from Atlanta.
The No. 23 GMS Racing Checrolet team in the Camping World Truck Series received penalties for two separate infractions at Atlanta. Crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz was fined $5,000 and suspended from the next Truck Series race because the truck failed ground-clearance inspection measurements. As a result of the infraction, the team also was docked 10 truck owner points. Chase Elliott, who drove the No. 23 at Atlanta, does not collect Truck Series driver points.
The Truck Series races again April 1 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Stankiewicz also was fined an additional $2,500 because not all lug nuts were properly installed at the end of Saturday’s Truck Series race.
Elliott drove the No. 23 Truck to a fifth-place finish at Atlanta.