Road Block: Pit road speeding could keep Chase drivers from advancing

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In a playoff format where a bad finish can keep a driver from advancing and cost them a championship, NASCAR’s increased enforcement of pit road speeding could play a significant role in the Chase.

NASCAR has enforced the additional timing lines on pit road in the past seven races — since the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in late July. Speeding penalties are up 86 percent compared to the seven races before the change was made.

Drivers can recover from speeding penalties — provided they happen early enough in a race. Chris Buescher won the shortened Pocono race after he was penalized for speeding. A speeding penalty late, though, can cost a driver several spots and that could be the difference in advancing to the next round of the Chase.

With the playoffs beginning this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, here’s a look at drivers who have had the most speeding penalties on pit road this year.

Speeding penalties for all drivers with five or more infractions in 2016

(CHASE DRIVERS IN ALL CAPS)

8 – Denny Hamlin

7 – Kyle Larson

7 – Ryan Newman

6 – Austin Dillon

6 – Regan Smith

6 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

5 – Chase Elliott

5 – Jimmie Johnson

5 – Greg Biffle

5 – Michael McDowell

5 – Paul Menard

Speeding Penalties for all Chase Drivers this season

8 – Denny Hamlin

7 – Kyle Larson

6 – Austin Dillon

5 – Chase Elliott

5 – Jimmie Johnson

4 – Brad Keselowski

4 – Jamie McMurray

4 – Martin Truex Jr.

3 – Carl Edwards

3 – Kevin Harvick

3 – Tony Stewart

2 – Chris Buescher

2 – Kyle Busch

1 – Kurt Busch

1 – Matt Kenseth

1 – Joey Logano

Speeding Penalties in Last 7 races by Chase Drivers

(Since additional timing lines added on pit road)

3 – Jimmie Johnson

2 – Chase Elliott

2 – Denny Hamlin

2 – Jamie McMurray

2 – Martin Truex Jr.

1 – Chris Buescher

1 – Austin Dillon

1 – Kevin Harvick

1 – Brad Keselowski

1- Kyle Larson

1 – Joey Logano

1 – Tony Stewart

0 – Kurt Busch

0 – Kyle Busch

0 – Carl Edwards

0 – Matt Kenseth