Chip Ganassi Racing’s Number-42 Sprint Cup Series team has been penalized for the second week in a row, following Kyle Larson’s third-place finish Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. Last week, crew chief Chad Johnston drew a one-race suspension after it was discovered during post-race inspection at Pocono that all the lug nuts on Larson’s Chevrolet were not properly tightened. On Wednesday, interim crew chief Philip Surgen was fined twenty-five thousand dollars after Larson’s car failed post-race inspection at M-I-S. The team was also docked fifteen driver and owner championship points.
In the Camping World Truck Series, Red Horse Racing crew chief Scott Zipadelli has been suspended for one race, fined five thousand dollars and placed on probation through December 31st. Following German (air-MONN) Quiroga Junior’s eighth-place finish last weekend in Texas, it was determined that all the lug nuts on his Number-11 Toyota were not properly tightened.
And in the X-FINITY Series, Team Penske crew chief Brian Wilson has been fined seventy-five hundred dollars and the Number-22 team was docked ten championship points. Joey Logano’s Ford failed post-race inspection at Michigan following his sixth-place finish in the Menards 250.
In addition to the Ganassi penalties after the Michigan race, sixteen Sprint Cup teams – more than one-third of all entries were issued written warnings for various infractions.
The list of drivers whose teams violated NASCAR rules includes Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Junior … and Stewart- Haas Racing’s Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart.
Tony Stewart was evaluated by doctors on Wednesday, five weeks after undergoing surgery for a back injury sustained in an all-terrain-vehicle accident. They’re satisfied with the amount of healing that’s taken place and Stewart has been assigned a rehabilitation regimen designed to hasten his recovery. Future evaluations are necessary, however, before a timetable is set for his return to competition.
Ty Dillon is scheduled to make his second start of the season in Stewart’s Number-14 Chevrolet on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. He finished seventeenth in his debut eleven days ago at Atlant Motor Speedway.
Brian Vickers drove the car in the season-opening Daytona 500 and again last weekend in Las Vegas. According to the Stewart-Haas Racing statement released yesterday, plans for an interim driver have not been finalized as Stewart begins his rehabilitation program.
Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday that it would move from Chevrolet to Ford beginning with the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four-car team –presently comprised of drivers Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart – will compete with horsepower from Roush Yates Engines. S-H-R has campaigned Chevrolets since it was founded in 2009. The organization has thirty wins over the past seven seasons.
Stewart won his third championship, as an owner-driver, in 2011 and Harvick followed with another title three years later.
Stewart-Haas Racing has confirmed that Ty Dillon, who drives for Richard Childress Racing in the X-FINITY Series, will sub for the injured Tony Stewart in this weekend’s Folds of Honor Quik-Trip 500 in Hampton, Georgia. Stewart is recovering from back surgery performed three weeks ago after he was injured January 31st while driving dune buggies as he vacationed in California. There’s no timetable for his return to competition.
Dillon, who turns 24 on Saturday, was named Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year in 2012 and is starting his third full season in the X-FINITY Series. Brian Vickers, who drove Stewart’s Number-14 Chevrolet to a twenty-sixth-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500, will return for the third March 6th in Las Vegas. The team has not announced its driver lineup beyond that.
The Associated Press is reporting that Brian Vickers will soon be named to replace the injured Tony Stewart for upcoming events at Daytona International Speedway, including the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 21st. Stewart-Haas Racing would not confirm Wednesday’s report and has a press conference scheduled Friday morning. On January 31st, Stewart suffered a serious back injury in an all-terrain-vehicle accident while vacationing in California. He was driving dune buggies in a group with other NASCAR drivers and was injured as he reportedly landed hard after a jump.
Stewart is now recovering from surgery, which was performed February 3rd. There is no announced timetable for his return. Vickers made just two starts last season with Michael Waltrip Racing before being sidelined by a recurrence of blood clots and must be medically cleared by NASCAR before returning to competition.