TC Daily Pit Stop: Hendrick, Kaulig Hit with L2 Penalties; Hamlin Fined for Scuffle with Chastain; Stewart-Haas Penalized Also
TC Daily Pit Stop: Thursday, March 16th, 2023
Photo Credit: Harold Hinson, HHP, Courtesy of Team Chevy
On Tuesday, NASCAR announced a plethora of penalties to several NASCAR Cup Series organizations, as a result of various actions, comments, and incidents from last weekend’s contest at Phoenix Raceway.
The most severe penalties to come out of Phoenix Raceway were distributed to Hendrick Motorsports and Kaulig Racing, with a combined five entries being slapped with L2 penalties, for the illegal modification of a single-source part.
Entries that were piloted by Kyle Larson (No. 5), Josh Berry (No. 9), William Byron (No. 24), Justin Haley (No. 31), and Alex Bowman (No. 48) have each been deducted 100 driver and owner points, as well as 10 Playoff Points.
Meanwhile, crew chiefs Cliff Daniels (No. 5), Alan Gustafson (No. 9), Rudy Fugle (No. 24), Trent Owens (No. 31), and Blake Harris (No. 48) have each been suspended for the next four points-paying NASCAR Cup Series events, and assessed a fine of $100,000.
Hendrick Motorsports plans to appeal the penalty. Kaulig Racing will release a statement on Thursday surrounding their plan moving forward.
Photo Credit: Craig White, TobyChristie.com
After an incident with Ross Chastain in the closing laps of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway, Denny Hamlin has been slapped with a points penalty and a fine.
Hamlin, who finished 24th in Sunday’s fourth event of the season, was fined $50,000 by the sanctioning body, and assessed the loss of 50 NASCAR Cup Series driver points for the act of “wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from competition as a result.”
Though, the penalty stems from Hamlin’s admittance of the intentional action on his podcast ‘Actions Detrimental’ after the event on Monday, where he confirmed that the incident was not accidental, and was intentional on his part.
Photo Credit: Matthew T. Thacker | NKP | Courtesy of Ford Performance
Stewart-Haas Racing was another organization to be handed penalties following the NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Phoenix, although they were expected, after Aric Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Mustang had its right-front wheel fly off on-track.
As part of NASCAR’s new penalty structure for improperly secured wheels, Almirola was forced to serve a two-lap penalty during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Phoenix Raceway, which relegated the Tampa, Florida native to a finish outside the top-30.
In addition to the in-race penalty, served on Sunday, Stewart-Haas Racing and the No. 10 team will be without two key pit crew members for the next two weekends, as NASCAR has suspended jackman Sean Cotten and front tire changer Ryan Mulder.
Michael Osinski will serve as the interim jackman of the No. 10 Ford Mustang, while Davis Sampere will move into the position of front tire changer for the Stewart-Haas Racing entry over the next two weeks.
On a week-to-week basis, Osinski serves as a member of Stewart-Haas Racing’s backup pit crew, while Sampere serves on the pit crew for Rick Ware Racing’s No. 15 entry. Both are expected to return to their usual post at Richmond.
PHOTO CREDIT: Nigel Kinrade, LAT Images, Courtesy of Toyota Racing
Layne Riggs, the defending national champion of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, is set to return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023, driving for a new organization.
Riggs will make his first start of the season in Saturday’s Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, driving the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro with sponsorship from Infinity Communications Group.
Last season, the 20-year-old driver competed in three NASCAR Truck Series events behind the wheel of a second entry for Halmar Friesen Racing, in which he scored three top-20 results, including a seventh in his debut at IRP.
At Atlanta, the Bahama, North Carolina-native will serve as a teammate to Dean Thompson, Corey Heim, Tanner Gray, and multi-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series winner John Hunter Nemechek.
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