In the wake of the throwback weekend in Darlington, South Carolina, NASCAR handed down some big penalties on Wednesday that resulted in lost points and crew member suspensions.
After winning the race in the number eleven Joe Gibbs Racing car, Denny Hamlin’s car was found to have an issue with the rear suspension that resulted in crew chief Mike Wheeler being fine $50,000 and has been suspended for two races. The team was also docked 25 car owner points, and 25 driver points. Hamlin’s win has been declared encumbered by NASCAR, but since Hamlin has another win this season, he is still in the playoffs with one more race remaining in the 2017 regular racing season.
Other penalties issued aster the races in Darlington:
The Hendrick Motorsports number 88 car driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr was caught with two lug nuts loose during post race inspection. As a result, crew chief Greg Ives has been fined $20,000 and suspended for the next race. Deciding not to appeal the decision, Travis Mack will sit in for Ives during the suspension. Dale Jr finished the race in 22nd place in his last race at Darlington Raceway.
Denny Hamlin’s number 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car in the Xfinity Series was also charged with a rear suspension penalty that resulted in a $25,000 fine for crew chief Eric Phillips and a two race suspension. The Joe Gibbs Racing team was docked 25 car owner points. Since Hamlin is not an Xfinity Series regular, he was not docked driver owner points, and while the win was deemed encumbered, it will not effect Hamlin who is not eligible for the Xfinity Series playoffs.
The Penske Racing number 22 driven by Joey Logano also received a penalty for a rear suspension issue. Crew chief Greg Erwin was fined $25,000 and suspended for two races. Penske was docked 25 car owner points, but like Hamlin, Joey Logano was not docked any driver points since he is not an Xfinity Series regular. The encumbered second place finish also does not effect Logano.
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