Sprint Cup Series drivers Ryan Newman and Kyle Larson have each been penalized with the loss of fifteen championship points after their cars failed post-race laser inspection last weekend at Darlington Raceway. The infraction is particularly costly to Newman, who’s locked in a battle with Jamie McMurray for the final spot in the Chase with just one race remaining in the regular season. With the penalty factored in, Newman (winless this year) now trails McMurray by twenty-two points heading into Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Richard Childress, owner of Newman’s Number-31 Chevrolet, also was docked fifteen points and crew chief Luke Lambert was fined twenty-five thousand dollars. Likewise, Chip Ganassi – Larson’s car owner – drew a fifteen-point penalty and crew chief Chad Johnston has been fined $22,500. Larson is already locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by virtue of his victory eleven days ago at Michigan International Speedway. Larson and Newman finished third and eighth, respectively, in Sunday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington … In addition, five Sprint Cup Series teams were issued written warnings for failing pre-race inspection numerous times. Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski were penalized with the loss of fifteen minutes of practice time … In the X-FINITY Series, rookie Ryan Preece’s No. 01 J-D Motorsports team was given a written warning for twice failing pre-race inspection at Darlington … In the Camping World Truck Series, the teams of Tyler Young and eventual race winner John Hunter Nemechek drew written warnings. Truck trailing arms on their respective vehicles did not meet specifications during opening-day inspection at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on September 2nd.
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Chip Ganassi Racing’s Chad Johnston has become the fourth Sprint Cup Series crew chief to be suspended in eight days. During post-race inspection following Kyle Larson’s eleventh-place finish on Monday at Pocono Raceway, it was discovered that all the lug nuts on his Number-42 Chevrolet were not properly tightened.
Johnston received a one-race suspension, was fined twenty thousand dollars and placed on NASCAR probation through December 31 st . On June 1 st, Cup Series crew chiefs Randall Burnett (who works with A-J Allmendinger), Tony Gibson (Kurt Busch) and Brian Pattie (Greg Biffle) were suspended for rule violations at Charlotte.
In addition to Johnston’s suspension, six Cup teams were given written warnings on Wednesday for a variety of inspection violations at Pocono. Drivers whose teams were warned are Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, Ty Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick and Regan Smith.
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