NASCAR suspends crew chief Slugger Labbe for 3 weeks, fines him $50K for rules violations

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NASCAR has suspended Sprint Cup crew chief Slugger Labbe for three weeks, fined him $50,000 and placed him on probation until Dec. 31.

The action comes after NASCAR found the No. 33 had violated rules on unapproved truck trailer arm installation, as well as actions detrimental to stock car auto racing.

The violation was discovered during opening day inspection March 20 at Auto Club Speedway.

It is a P4 penalty, considered one of the more serious penalties on NASCAR’s penalty rating scale.

In addition, team owner Joe Falk has been docked 25 championship car owner points.

Here is an excerpt from NASCAR’s announcement detailing the violations incurred by the team:

12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
20.14.2: Rear Suspension: Truck Trailing Arm
     E. The left and right side truck trailing arms must be mounted to the truck trailing arm mounting brackets using a one-piece, minimum ¾ inch diameter magnetic steel bolt.
     F. The horizontal centerline of the highest truck trailing arm mounting bolt must not be higher than the top surface of the truck trailing arm crossmember, at the respective truck trailing arm mounting bracket, when the vehicle is at inspection orientation.

INFRACTION: The ¾ inch diameter magnetic steel truck trailing arm mounting bolt was not installed horizontally.
     J. Truck trailing arm must conform to the following drawing as specified in the NASCAR rule book: Rear Suspension-Truck Trailing Arm: A-008-00183-14 Rev.C

INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm monoball sleeve does not meet the drawing specifications. Sleeve is required to be minimum .125 inch minimum thick x two inches wide sleeve machined for press fit of .750 I.D. or .875 I.D. monoball assembly.
20.3.3.2.1: Truck Trailing Arm Crossmember Assembly:Truck Trailing Arm Mounting Brackets
     B. Truck trailing arm mounting brackets must be constructed of magnetic steel flat plate with a minimum thickness of 0.169 inch.

INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm mounting bracket adapter was machined from Aluminum solid.
20.20: Assembled Vehicle Overall Rules
     A. Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR rules, installation of additional components and/or modifications of existing components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle will not be permitted, including but not limited to, safety systems, chassis and roll cage, suspension, steering systems, brake systems, heat shields, body fillers, body sealers, filler panels, drivetrain components and exhaust components
The options for a P4 penalty are outlined in the following sections of the NASCAR rule book:

12.5.3.4 P4 Penalty Options:
1. A – Violations leading to P4 penalties, in general, are very serious. They include, but are not limited to, a broad range of infractions such as:
2. B – Parts which do not meet specifications
3. F – Measurement failures of significance
4. G – These often involve primary component or system infractions not otherwise to the magnitude of P5 infractions, but could also include secondary component or system infractions, particularly if of a nature suggesting some of the characteristics described in P5 … and/or involving safety implications.

12.5.3.4.2: Minimum P4 Penalty Options (includes all three points below):
1. A – Loss of 25 championship driver and owner points, regardless of whether the violation occurred during a Championship race or not.
2. B – $40,000-$75,000 fine
3. Suspension for the next three series Championship Races, plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that time period, for the crew chief, plus probation through the end of the calendar year, or probation for a six month period following the issuance of the penalty notice if that period spans across two consecutive seasons.”

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