NASCAR to ‘reiterate’ pit road rule this week to teams after penalty to Martin Truex Jr.


A NASCAR executive said series officials will “reiterate” this week the rule that drivers cannot pass to the inside on pit road after penalizing Martin Truex Jr. for that Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, made the comments Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Truex was penalized on Lap 196 for passing leader Kevin Harvick on the inside on pit road before heading to his stall. Truex was upset with the penalty.

“You get to your timing line, you step on the gas and you head straight toward your pit,’’ he told NBCSN after the race. “Obviously, I turned left and came up next to (Harvick) and passed him … as I was driving to my pit, guys do it every week. I don’t know why it was different today.

“I would think that if they didn’t want us doing that anymore, they would tell us in the drivers meeting. Hell, it’s every week. I’ve been passed on pit road 15 times this year that same exact way and I didn’t see guys get penalized. So I guess when you’re doing it for a win it’s different circumstances or something.’’

Truex was the first Sprint Cup driver penalized this season for that specific violation.

O’Donnell said series officials saw this issue happening more often this season and described what Truex did as “blatant,’’ leading to the penalty.

“It is clear in the rule book that you can’t pass to the left,’’ O’Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It’s also brought up in every drivers meeting. If you look at drivers pulling off just as they pull into their pits and kind of pull up alongside a car, sure, that’s happened.

“I would probably relate this to other sports. If you look at the three-second rule (in the NBA), it’s always there but it’s rarely called because you don’t see it blatantly, and then you’ll see a coach or some teams say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to focus on this rule, it’s getting out of hand.’

“That was the case certainly for us. We saw a trend that was getting bigger and bigger. For us, that was a blatant pass to the left. We felt we had to make that call. We’ll certainly address it with the industry prior to New Hampshire again to reiterate what the rule is as well, and if there’s any questions where we have to make it more clear, we’ll certainly do so.’’

On the pit road penalty card issued to all teams, Section 20 states that entering pit road: “Vehicles must enter the pit road in single file. After a vehicle commits to their assigned pit box, the vehicle behind may pass to the outside.’’

Truex was cited for a safety violation for passing on entry to pit road. Safety violations are defined in the pit road penalty card as: “Violation of NASCAR safety precautions or careless acts during a NASCAR Event.’’

Crew chiefs are reminded by the rules video that plays during each drivers meeting to “have the current crew chief handout and pit road penalty card with you for the race.”

Section 10.11.4.c of the Sprint Cup Rule Book states: “After a vehicle commits to their assigned pit box, the vehicle behind may pass to the outside.”

NASCAR weekend schedule at Gateway, Portland


NASCAR’s top three series are racing this weekend in two different locations. Cup and Craftsman Truck teams will compete at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, and the Xfinity Series will compete at Portland International Raceway.

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Cup and Trucks)

Weekend weather

Friday: Partly cloudy with a high of 87 degrees during Truck qualifying.

Saturday: Sunny. Temperatures will be around 80 degrees for the start of Cup practice and climb to 88 degrees by the end of Cup qualifying. Forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 93 degrees around the start of the Truck race.

Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high of 92 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the Cup race.

Friday, June 2

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 1 – 8 p.m. Craftsman Truck Series
  • 4 – 9 p.m. Cup Series

Track activity

  • 6 – 6:30 p.m. — Truck practice (FS1)
  • 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. — Truck qualifying (FS1)

Saturday, June 3

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  — Cup Series
  • 12:30 p.m. — Truck Series

Track activity

  • 10 – 10:45 a.m. — Cup practice (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 10:45 a.m. – Noon — Cup qualifying  (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (160 laps, 200 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, June 4

Garage open

  • 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series

Track activity

  • 3:30 p.m. — Cup race (240 laps, 300 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)


Portland International Raceway (Xfinity Series)

Weekend weather

Friday: Mostly sunny with a high of 77 degrees.

Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high of 73 degrees and no chance of rain around the start of the Xfinity race.

Friday, June 2

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 6-11 p.m. Xfinity Series

Saturday, June 3

Garage open

  • 10 a.m.  — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – Noon — Xfinity practice (No TV)
  • Noon – 1 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (FS1)
  • 4:30 p.m. — Xfinity race (75 laps, 147.75 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

NASCAR Cup playoff standings after Coca-Cola 600


The severe penalty to Chase Briscoe and his Stewart-Haas Racing team Wednesday for a counterfeit part dropped Briscoe from 17th to 31st in the season standings. Briscoe now must win a race to have a chance at the playoffs.

The penalty came a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for his retaliation in wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600. Elliott is 28th in the points. The 2020 Cup champion also needs to win to have a chance to make the playoffs.

Ten drivers have won races, including Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney. That leaves six playoff spots to be determined by points at this time. With 12 races left in the regular season, including unpredictable superspeedway races at Atlanta (July 9) and Daytona (Aug. 26), the playoff standings will change during the summer.

Among those without a win this season are points leader Ross Chastain and former champions Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Elliott.

Here’s a look at the Cup playoff standings heading into Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Drivers in yellow have won a race and are in a playoff position. Those below the red line after 16th place are outside a playoff spot in the graphic below.

NASCAR issues major penalties to Chase Briscoe team for Charlotte infraction


NASCAR fined crew chief John Klausmeier $250,000 and suspended him six races, along with penalizing Chase Briscoe and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team 120 points and 25 playoff points each for a counterfeit part on the car.

The issue was a counterfeit engine NACA duct, said Elton Sawyer, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, on Wednesday. That is a single-source part.

MORE: Updated Cup playoff standings

The team stated that it accepts the L3 penalty.

“We had a quality control lapse and a part that never should’ve been on a car going to the racetrack ended up on the No. 14 car at Charlotte,” said Greg Zipadelli in a statement from the team. “We accept NASCAR’s decision and will not appeal.”

Asked how then piece could have aided performance, Sawyer said Wednesday: “Knowing the race team mentality, they don’t do things that would not be a benefit to them in some way, shape or form from a performance advantage.”

The penalty drops Briscoe from 17th in the season standings to 31st in the standings. Briscoe goes from having 292 points to having 172 points. He’ll have to win to make the playoffs. Briscoe has no playoff points at this time, so the penalty puts him at -25 playoff points should he make it.

Briscoe’s car was one of two taken to the R&D Center after Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 for additional tear down by series officials.

The penalty comes a day after NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in last weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.