Ricky Stenhouse Jr. crew chief suspended; NASCAR warns Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart teams

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Nick Sandler, crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse Jr., was suspended Wednesday by NASCAR for this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway for an inspection violation at Richmond International Raceway.

Sandler was fined $20,000, suspended through May 4 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 for an improper steering wheel coupler that was discovered by officials in the opening garage inspection.

Asked if the team would appeal, a Roush Fenway Racing spokesman said the team is “reviewing the matter.” An appeal likely would defer Sandler’s suspension until after Talladega.

NASCAR also gave warnings to the teams of Tony Stewart (failing laser inspection system twice in prerace) and Jimmie Johnson (failed template inspection twice).

It’s the first warning for each team.