Mike Bugarewicz, the crew chief on the No. 14 of Tony Stewart, has been placed on probation by NASCAR through the end of 2016 following an illegal body modification found during the Coca-Cola 600. The violation is a P2 level penalty.
Stewart was forced to start at the rear of the field Sunday when his Chevrolet was found to have an illegal body design and surface conformance found in prerace inspection.
Bugarewicz is in his first season as crew chief on the No.14 and has been with Stewart for five races following his return from a fractured back. Bugarewicz took over the No. 14 team after serving as the race engineer on Kevin Harvick‘s car.
A P2 penalty could include a 10-point penalty, so Stewart’s team caught a mini-break the punishment wasn’t more severe. The three-time series champion is trying to climb into the top 30 in points before the end of the 26-race regular season so that he would be eligible for the playoffs with a win.
According to the NASCAR rulebook, a minimum P2 penalty must include one or more of the following:
–Loss of 10 Championship driver and owner points, regardless of whether the violation occurred during a Championship Race or not.
–$10,000 to $25,000 fine, depending on the specific infraction.
–Suspension for the crew chief, and/or any other team members, as determined by NASCAR, for one or more Races.
–Probation through the end of the calendar year for the crew chief, or for a 6-month period following the issuance of the Penalty Notice if that period spans across two consecutive seasons.