Hendrick Motorsports has withdrawn its appeal of penalties against Chase Elliott‘s N0. 9 team from last weekend’s race in Phoenix, NBC Sports confirmed.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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A spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing said the team had no news or announcements planned Thursday about the penalties to Kevin Harvick’s team after its victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli said in a statement Wednesday night that the team would be evaluating its options while continuing to talk NASCAR officials so as to “fully understand the rationale behind the penalty” that stripped Harvick of the playoff points for his second win of the season.
The driver and team also lost 20 points apiece, crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000 and car chief Robert Smith was suspended for two races.
NASCAR allows teams three days to decide whether to appeal to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.
On Thursday’s NASCAR America (video above), analyst Jeff Burton said the penalty was “really interesting because the rear window penalty is really from pictures and things seen on the racetrack. Now NASCAR said the brace failed and did not hold the window in a rigid fashion.
“The question I’ve got moving forward is does this mean that we’re going to use photographs during the races to determine if someone is going to be penalized or not. Because if pictures are going to be taken to determine if a body was held rigid, there’s going to be a lot of penalties because there are a lot of moving parts on these race cars today.
“You can see rear windows moving. You can see sides of cars moving. I think this is going to cause something the public may never see, but all of a sudden cars getting much more rigid in regards to rear windows, sides, quarter panels moving. These teams are very, very smart and are very creative, and I think this is going to cause a ripple effect. There’s going to be a lot of crew chiefs walking into the NASCAR hauler wanting to understand exactly what this means going forward because, again, if NASCAR’s going to use pictures to help determine if penalties need to happen or not, it’s going to be a game-changer.”
The hearing has been rescheduled for Team Penske’s final appeal of postrace penalties to Brad Keselowski’s after the March 19 race at Phoenix Raceway.
Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss will hear the case Wednesday at 6 p.m. after initially being slated to preside on Tuesday at 9 a.m
Crew chief Paul Wolfe was suspended for three races and fined $65,000, and Keselowski and the No. 2 Ford team were docked 35 points for failing the Laser Inspection System after a fifth place at Phoenix.
Wolfe’s suspension has been deferred by NASCAR during the appeal. He will work today’s postponed race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wolfe sat out Fontana but returned at Martinsville Speedway (where Keselowski won) and at Texas Motor Speedway as the team appealed.
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld NASCAR’s penalty after an April 12 hearing.
If Moss denies Penske’s appeal, Wolfe would miss the races at Richmond International Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.
After being denied by a three-member panel Wednesday, Team Penske will make a final appeal of the penalty to Brad Keselowski‘s No. 2 team from Phoenix Raceway.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the case would be heard by National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss, but it was expected the final appeal hearing date probably wouldn’t be determined until Thursday.
With NASCAR off for Easter weekend, the next Cup Series race is April 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Keselowski, has had his three-race suspension deferred the past two races while awaiting Wednesday’s appeal.
Wolfe already has sat out Fontana, so he potentially would miss the races at Bristol and Richmond International Raceway.
Here’s the statement from Team Penske:
While we are disappointed in today’s results, we plan to immediately request a final appeal hearing as outlined in the NASCAR rulebook. While the appeals process runs its course, we will continue to move forward and our focus will remain on getting prepared for the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Team Penske’s appeal of the penalty to Brad Keselowski’s team from postrace violations at Phoenix Raceway has been scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, April 12. A three-member panel from the National Stock Car Racing Commission will consider the case.
Keselowski was docked 35 points, and crew chief Paul Wolfe was suspended for three races, after the No. 2 Ford failed “weights and measures” on the laser inspection station platform following a fifth-place finish March 19 at Phoenix.
Wolfe sat out the following race at Fontana as the team mulled an appeal. After the appeal was filed March 29, he was granted a deferment allowing him to be on the pit box Sunday at Martinsville Speedway for Keselowski’s first victory at the 0.526-mile oval.
The deferment will remain in place for Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, meaning Wolfe will be the crew chief for the 500-mile race on fresh asphalt.
After the win at Martinsville, team owner Roger Penske talked about his team’s chances for winning the appeal.