NASCAR Cup: Ryan Blaney’s crew chief suspended

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BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 17: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 17, 2022 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 17: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 17, 2022 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
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By AMANDA VINCENT

Ryan Blaney will be without crew chief Jonathan Hassler and two members of his No. 12 Team Penske pit crew for the next four races, beginning with Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The suspensions are a result of a wheel coming off the No. 12 car on pit road during Friday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Jackman Gragam Stoddard and rear tire changer Zachary Price also were suspended.

The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing entry of Kevin Harvick also lost a wheel on pit road at Bristol, but that team was not penalized because NASCAR ruled its pit stop not completed, as Harvick still was in his pit box, and the issue was immediately corrected. Blaney’s wheel, on the other hand, rolled swiftly through several pit boxes before ending up in the pit box of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team of Austin Dillon.

Hassler, Stoddard and Price’s suspensions will sideline them for the entire round of 12, or second round, of the playoffs. Blaney advanced to the round of 12 after finishing the Bristol race in the 30th position.

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