NASCAR Xfinity: Elliott Sadler heads to Homestead without crew chief
Elliott Sadler (1) on track at Phoenix International Raceway during the Ticket Galaxy 200 on Nov. 12, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
A 13th-place finish in Saturday’s Ticket Galaxy 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., was good enough to secure Elliott Sadler advancement to the championship four of the first-ever chase for the Xfinity Series. As a result, he’ll battle JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez for the 2016 Xfinity Series championship Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Sadler will have to take on his fellow-championship competitors, though, without crew chief Kevin Meendering, because of a second lug-nut rule violation at the end of the Phoenix Raceway.
In post-race inspection after the Ticket Galaxy 200, Sadler’s No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet had only 18 of the required 20 lug nuts properly installed and secured. Meendering was fined $5,000 for a similar violation at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth the previous weekend. After the Texas race, the No. 1 car had 19 lug nuts properly secured.
“We bring all the cars down pit road, do our inspection of our wheels and lug nuts, and we observed that the No. 1 car had two lug nuts not secure to the wheel,” Xfinity Series Managing Director Wayne Auton said, according to a NASCAR.com
report. “We advised the team they’re probably going to be looking for a crew chief next week and a monetary fine of $10,000.”
JR Motorsports has the option of appealing the penalty, but Sadler said he doubted there would be an appeal.