NASCAR issues warnings to teams of Jimmie Johnson, Danica Patrick and two others

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NASCAR confirmed Wednesday that Jimmie Johnson’s team received a warning for needing more than three attempts at prerace inspection three times last weekend at Pocono Raceway.

Sam Hornish Jr.’s team also was warned for prerace inspection at Pocono. The teams of Danica Patrick and David Gilliland received warnings for failing pre-qualifying inspection too many times at Pocono.

Both Johnson and Patrick will lose 15 minutes of practice time this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

This marks the fourth warning for Johnson’s team this year, starting at Atlanta for heat shields – similar to a warning NASCAR gave Patrick’s team after the Daytona 500.

NASCAR warned the team for modifying its side skirt during the Sprint All-Star Race while fixing crash damage. NASCAR also warned Johnson’s team for too many attempts at pre-qualfiying inspection for the Coca-Cola 600.

The penalties in consecutive events triggered a P1 penalty, which would have been last pick of pit stalls at Dover International Speedway.  The punishment was deferred while Hendrick Motorsports appealed. The National Motorsports Appeals Panel rescinded the P1 penalty Tuesday, ruling there was a lack of evidence to justify the Coca-Cola 600 warning.

Thus, NASCAR isn’t counting the Coke 600 in the cumulative total for Johnson’s team, which now has three penalties in slightly more than three months.

If a team receives six written warnings in a six-month period starting with the first, it could result in a P2 penalty. The NASCAR rulebook lists a P2 penalty as at least one (and possibly more) of the following: loss of 10 championship driver and owner points; $10,000-$25,000 fine; suspension for the crew chief,and/or any other team members for at least one race; probation through the end of the calendar year for the crew chief.