NASCAR might go easier on Kyle Busch’s team for having tire get loose during Dover race

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A NASCAR official said it’s possible Kyle Busch’s team could receive lenient punishment for having a tire fall off after a pit stop Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

Busch left the pits when his pit crew dropped the jack before his left-rear lug nuts were secured. A similar incident happened to Chase Briscoe in Friday’s truck race.

The NASCAR rulebook calls for four-race suspensions for crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier in the case of a loose wheel because of improper installation, but it also notes safety violations will be handled case by case.

Executive vice president of competition Scott Miller said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR’s The Morning Drive that the perceived lack of intent to fasten five lug nuts on the tire could result in dispensation for those teams.

“It’s possible we will” look at intent, Miller said. “We’ll review everything we have from what we’ve seen so far. It wasn’t trying to go back on the track with two lug nuts. It obviously was human error in both cases. There are a lot of discussions internally on how we’ll rule on that. That process will start later this afternoon.”

The lug nut rule was changed after a spate of loose wheels a little over a year ago. NASCAR also began checking lug nuts postrace, penalizing teams that didn’t fasten five after the final stop.

“It’s fairly obvious when things keep occurring that are either competition or safety related, and you feel you need to ramp up consequences of doing said things,” Miller said. “With wheels and hitting two to three lug nuts on the last pit stop, that’s where rules came from.”

Other topics addressed by Miller:

–There apparently is no consideration of changing the overtime line rule, which Dale Earnhardt Jr. advocated abolishing after it played a role in Sunday’s win by Jimmie Johnson.

“There’s no question about it,” Miller said. “That’s black and white and straightforward. We don’t want the races to end that way, but we put that procedure in place starting last season, and that’s how we do it.

“There was a lot that went into that, a lot of conversation that were had. One of the big considerations was superspeedway racing, and the havoc we typically have on restarts and the green-white-checkered there. It was a way to not have to do that three times at those racetracks. That was a factor, but that wasn’t only the factor…. It’s something we’re always looking at, we don’t like races to end like they did yesterday, but that’s what we’ve got right now, and we’ll continue to look at things like we always do.”

–NASCAR elected to skip using VHT at Dover after consulting with drivers who felt it wasn’t necessary, but the traction compound could be used again after “fairly decent success” at Bristol and Charlotte.

“I think the racetracks are going to have to lend themselves to strongly consider using it,” Miller said. “From talking to lot of drivers, we don’t believe it’s necessary everywhere

“It could come into play in the future at one-lane tracks. Maybe we put it further outside the groove and hopefully that helps to widen the racing groove out and make for better action at tracks that are one lane.”

NASCAR America: Should penalty for failing inspection be more severe?


After 13 cars failed qualifying inspection last Friday at Auto Club Speedway, NASCAR America’s analysts addressed the current state of rules that resulted in all thirteen teams not getting to make a qualifying attempt.

While Kyle Busch said the issues are “not that big deal,” especially with the new scanning system still in its infancy, Jeff Burton disagrees. Burton points to how much engineering has become involved in the sport and trying make cars better with NASCAR’s rules.

“It’s snowballed into this great big bag of rules,” Burton said. “We have all these rules that the teams have forced NASCAR to create. I don’t know the way out of it. There’s two ways to do it. You make the penalties harsher, with the theory being they won’t do it if the penalty is so harsh, or you have less rules. The problem is if you have less rules you’re going to have more cars that aren’t within those rules as they are.”

After the issues in Cup qualifying, NASCAR told Xfinity Series teams on Saturday that any team that did not attempt a lap in qualifying would start from the rear of the field and be required to serve a pass-through penalty once the green flag waved.

“It is a mess, but I disagree with Kyle (Busch), it is a big deal,” Burton said, citing fans who don’t get to see their favorite driver qualifying. “That’s not good. That’s not good for sponsors, that’s mainly not good for mainly race fans. If race fans tune in and their guy isn’t on track, why are they going to tune in next week? They deserve to see their guy on track. It’s got to get fixed.”

NASCAR announced Monday that inspection this weekend at Martinsville Speedway would take place after qualifying and would also serve as pre-race inspection.

Jarrett, who said there are too many rules, agreed with Burton.

“The only way of fixing this is making the penalty so severe that these teams aren’t going to take any chances,” Jarrett said.

Watch the above video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Auto Club Speedway recap, West Coast Awards

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and looks back at the weekend’s racing at Auto Club Speedway.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett from the “Big Oak Table” at NBC Charlotte.

What to expect from the show.

  • Martin Truex Jr. flashed his championship form from last year and earned his first win of the 2018 season Sunday in Fontana. We’ll recap the last race of NASCAR Goes West from around the “Big Oak Table” at our NBC Sports studios in Charlotte. Plus, Rut and the gang will hand out the West Coast awards, honoring the best moments from the Vegas-Phoenix-Fontana run.
  • NASCAR is a sport built on families, and it’s seen lots of kids grow up at the track through the years. We’ll spend time discussing the next generation to catch the racing bug – including Harrison Burton, son of our Jeff Burton.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you also can watch it via the online stream at http:/

If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Landon Cassill gets Cup ride for Martinsville, Texas

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Landon Cassill will drive the No. 00 for StarCom Racing in the next two races, Martinsville and Texas, the team announced Monday.

Cassill replaces Jeffrey Earnhardt. StarCom Racing and Earnhardt parted ways after Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway.

Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway will mark Cassill’s first Cup race of the year. The 28-year-old has 259 career Cup starts and a career-best finish of fourth at Talladega in October 2014. He drove for Front Row Motorsports the past two seasons but was not retained after last year.

Cassill’s sponsor the next two races will be the United States First Responders Association, a non-profit, professional and social network of fire, EMS, rescue, law enforcement and military personnel, as well as civilian support teams.

StarCom Racing was privileged to acquire a new partnership with USFRA and Landon Cassill behind the wheel,” said Derrike Cope, team manager, in a statement. “I’m optimistic that his knowledge and experience will only help our efforts as well as the growth of our team.”

Said Cassill in a statement: “I love working with new teams. I feel like that is one of my strengths. StarCom Racing looks like they are in it for the long haul, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.” 

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Hendrick Motorsports withdraws appeal of Phoenix penalties against No. 9 team

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Hendrick Motorsports has withdrawn its appeal of penalties against Chase Elliott‘s N0. 9 team from last weekend’s race in Phoenix, NBC Sports confirmed.

NASCAR found a L1 infraction on Elliott’s car in the rear-suspension after the race at ISM Raceway.

NASCAR stated that the team’s truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mounting surfaces must be planar and in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.

NASCAR fined crew chief Alan Gustafson $50,000, suspended car chief Josh Kirk two races and docked Elliott 25 points and the team 25 owner points. Elliott’s third-place finish in the race will not count toward any tiebreakers.

Following Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway, where Elliott finished 16th, he is 21st in the point standings.

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