Could Matt Kenseth lose the three bonus points for Sunday’s win because his car failed the Laser Inspection Station after the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway?
The NASCAR Sprint Rule Book lists “incorrect ground clearance and/or body heights measurements, camber measurements, rear axle housing location and/or ‘skew’ and right parallel measurements Post-Race” as among the violations for a P3 penalty.
The minimum penalty, as listed in the rulebook for those violations, is loss of 15 driver and owner points, and/or a fine between $20,000 and $50,000 and/or suspension of the crew chief or other crew members and/or probation through the end of the calendar year.
NASCAR twice has issued P3 penalties this year to Sprint Cup teams for failing laser inspection after the race. Both received the same penalty.
Kasey Kahne and car owner Rick Hendrick were docked 15 points each, and crew chief Keith Rodden was fined $25,000 when Kahne’s car failed laser inspection after the Dover race in May. Kyle Larson and car owner Chip Ganassi were penalized 15 points each, and interim crew chief Philip Surgen was fined $25,000 when Larson’s car failed laser inspection after the Michigan race in June.
Neither of those cars won.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR chief racing development officer, was asked Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about what could happen to Kenseth’s three bonus points.
“I think it’s important first to look at a failure at track doesn’t necessarily mean a failure once we get it back to the R&D Center,” O’Donnell said. “The reason we bring it back to the R&D Center is to look at what, if any, damage occurred to that car, what if any parts were broken. Candidly, it’s not as easy as that. We’ve got the best engineers in the world, so were (the parts) manufactured to possibly break? We’ve got to go through all those things.
“If after that, we determine it’s still a violation, we would issue a penalty. Still too early … because we’ve got to see what were the circumstances here when we get back to the R&D Center. Certainly that could be part of any penalty we issue and we’ll look at. That will take place (Tuesday) as we go through all the details with the race car.”