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Joey Logano’s crew chief explains reason for penalty

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Crew chief Todd Gordon explained the penalty that led to his two-race suspension, saying a part was about 1/32 of an inch off after last weekend’s win at Richmond International Raceway.

NASCAR also fined Gordon $50,000 and docked Joey Logano 25 points and Team Penske 25 car owner points after Logano’s winning car from Richmond failed inspection at the R&D Center. NASCAR stated Logano’s win would not count toward playoff eligibility and he would not receive the five playoff points.

The team violated the rule that states “a pinion angle shim mating surface … must be in complete contact … at all times.”

Gordon was on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Friday to discuss the penalty and what’s next for the team.

“We take penalties with a lot of seriousness and try to identify how  that happened and where procedurally we missed and understanding the bounds of what has to happen to make sure we don’t have issues like this,’’ Gordon said. “We’ve been through that. There’s some investigations going on internally. I think we understand the direction that we need to go, and we’ll make sure we’re not putting ourselves in that situation anymore.’’

Team Penske announced Thursday that it will not appeal the penalty. Gordon will miss this weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway and next weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway. Race engineer Miles Stanley will serve as Logano’s crew chief this weekend. Greg Erwin, a crew chief in the organization’s Xfinity program, will help call race strategy Sunday.

Gordon said on “The Morning Drive” that there was a gap of about 1/32 inch between the pinion shim and the truck arm surface on the right truck arm.

Gordon explained what happened:

“In order for the suspension to actually move, parts have to bend. … If every part is infinitely stiff, the system won’t move. It needs to have something flexing. It’s a small amount of flex, but there are parts that move. Through 400 laps at Richmond and how many pit stops and pit road launches and restarts, things move a little bit.

“It was legal when it rolled across the NASCAR inspection platform to start with (before the race), and I would say just race loads and everything else, it became low enough in load that the back of the pinion gap opened up a 32nd of an inch.’’

Gordon also said: “If you look at our rear suspension … there’s not really a whole lot of tomfoolery that goes on to hide something like this. We don’t work that way at Team Penske, try to stay on the up and up and push the things to where we can. Pre-race, there was not a gap there.’’

Gordon noted that NASCAR rewrote rules regarding suspension pieces in the offseason “because everybody chases the skew word. That’s a hot topic within the garage. I think that’s one thing I’d like to point out. This is a right side truck arm. With the track bar being attached to the left side truck arm, most of all the pieces, at least from what I understand and maybe I’m missing some things, all the skew-related pieces are going to happen on the left side.

“This wasn’t anything that was pertaining to skew, that’s a word that everybody uses and that’s how the cars kind of run sideways down the race track, which helps them aerodynamically. We weren’t in that situation.’’

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Saturday schedule for Xfinity, Truck Series

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The Xfinity Series competes at Road America today while the Gander Outdoors Truck Series begins its weekend in Canada.

wunderground.com forecasts sunny skies and a high of 70 degrees at the start of the Xfinity race.

The forecast for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is for sunny skies, a high of 71 degrees and a 10% chance of rain.

Here’s the day’s full schedule with TV and radio info.

Saturday, Aug. 24

Road America

8 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

11:40 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying; multi-car/two rounds (NBC Sports App live, NBCSN to air it at 1:30 p.m.)

1:35 p.m. – Driver-crew chief meeting

2:30 p.m. – Driver introductions

3 p.m. – CTECH Manufacturing 180; 45 laps/182.16 miles (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Truck garage open

9:35 – 10:25 a.m. ET – Truck practice (No TV)

11:35 – 12:55 p.m. – Final Truck practice (No TV)

Report: Justin Allgaier returning to JR Motorsports in 2020

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Justin Allgaier confirmed to Catchfence.com Friday that he will remain with JR Motorsports in 2020.

It will be Allgaier’s fifth season in the Xfinity Series with JRM.

“I will be back next year. Same deal,” Allgaier told Catchfence.com “Everything is good. We’re doing the same thing next that we are doing right now.”

Allgaier, 33, is fourth is the point standings entering this weekend’s race at Road America (3 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN).

Allgaier is the only driver in the top six in points without a win this year.

 

Xfinity Series practice report from Road America

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Christopher Bell was fastest in the final Xfinity Series practice Friday at Road America.

Bell posted a top speed of 108.562 mph around the road course.

The top five was completed by Matt DiBenedetto (108.106 mph), AJ Allmendinger (108.091), Justin Haley (107.927) and Cole Custer (107.895).

Chase Briscoe recorded the most laps in the session with 19.

The session was stopped with about 50 minutes left for a hard crash by Brandon Jones exiting Turn 11. Jones will go to a backup car for Saturday’s race.

Just before Jones’ wreck, the left-rear truck arm mount broke on Jeremy Clements‘ No. 51 Chevrolet and his car stalled on the track.

The red flag was brought out for the second time when Preston Pardus’ No. 43 Chevrolet stalled on the track. His car then stalled a second time in the final minute of the session.

The session had a third red flag when Josh Williams‘ car stalled on the track.

Click here for the practice report.

First Practice

Bell was fastest, posting a top speed of 108.559 mph around the road course.

The top five was completed by defending race winner Justin Allgaier (108.530 mph), Cindric (108.346), DiBenedetto (108.139) and Allmendinger (107.967).

Chase Briscoe recorded the most laps with 14.

The session was stopped once for debris with 35 minutes left in the session.

Minor incidents in the session included Noah Gragson briefly going off course and a spin by Dexter Bean.

Click here for the practice report.

Updated entry lists for Xfinity, Truck Series this weekend

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While the NASCAR Cup Series will be off this weekend, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any racing.

On the contrary, the Xfinity Series will be racing Saturday at Road America and the Truck Series will compete Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Here are the entry lists for both series:

Xfinity – CTECH Manufacturing 180 (3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 38 cars entered.

Regan Smith will be in the No. 8 J.R. Motorsports Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger will drive the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Saturday’s Cup runner-up, Matt DiBenedetto, will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Ryan Vargas is entered in JD Motorsports’ No. 4 Chevrolet for his second start of the year.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Chevrolet Silverado 250 (2:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1)

There are only 29 Trucks listed for the entry list. A full field would be 32 trucks.

Alex Tagliani is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Toyota for his first start of the year.

Dylan Lupton is entered in Young’s Motorsports’ No. 20 Chevrolet.

Click here for the entry list.

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