A quick inspection of Kyle Busch’s number 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car after his win at Pocono on July 29 showed that one of the lug nuts was not properly installed – loose. As the team celebrated the win they knew that a penalty was forthcoming.
On August 2 NASCAR issued the penalties for infractions at Pocono Raceway and Iowa Speedway.
Kyle Busch’s team was not the only team to be issued penalties for loose lug nuts, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Trevor Bayne, Xfinity Series driver Ryan Reed, and Camping World Truck Series driver Stewart Friesen were also charged with lug nut infractions.
As a result of the infractions Kyle Busch’s crew chief Ada, Stevems, Ricky Stenhouse’s crew chief Brian Pattie, and Trevor Bayne’s crew chief Matt Puccia were fined $10,000 each.
Ryan Reed’s crew chief Phil Gould was fined $5,000 and Stewart Friesen’s crew chief was fined $2,500.
The Furniture Row Racing number 77 car driven by Erik Jones was charged with a rear suspension violation during post race inspection at Pocono Raceway after the Overton’s 400. As a result of the infraction, Erik Jones’ crew chief Chris Gayle has been fined $50,000 and suspended for the next two Monster Energy Cup races. Erik Jones has been docked 25 driver points and Furniture Row Racing has been docked 25 car owner points.
The loss of 25 driver points placed Erik Jones 150 below the line to make it to the playoffs. Jones will have to win one of the five remaining regular season races in order to make the playoffs.
Furniture Row Racing has issued a statement saying that they will not challenge the ruling saying, “we understand and accept NASCAR’s penalty to our number 77 team. We will not appeal the unintentional infraction with the rear suspension and will move on with team engineer James Small taking over as the interim crew chief for the next two races.”
In other Monster Energy Cup Series news substitute driver extraordinaire Regan Smith’s services have been secured for the coming weekend at Watkins Glen – Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin is on baby watch.
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