A miniscule measurement likely will mean a hefty penalty for the Richard Petty Motorsports team of Aric Almirola.
After finishing fourth Sunday at Talladega Superpeedway, Almirola’s No. 43 Ford failed the Laser Inspection Station.
Almirola told NBCSN’s Marty Snider that the infraction was 0.01 of an inch beyond the tolerance.
“It’s less than the thickness of a credit card, but it’s the rules,” Almirola said. “We’ve seen other teams penalized for the same thing, so we’re not being singled out. NASCAR is making clear they have rules, and we have to play within the rules.
“As a driver and race team, we have to push the boundaries and have to push it right to the ragged edge because all our competition is. If we just built a car well within the measurements and tolerances, we’d run 30th every week. That’s the reality of it. All the teams push every thousandth of an inch that they can get. You have to to keep up.”
The standard penalty for an LIS failure has been a $65,000 fine, 35-point deduction and three-race suspension for a crew chief. Team Penske lost its final appeal of an LIS penalty Tuesday.
Almirola, who earned his second top five of the season Sunday, said his team hadn’t received confirmation of a penalty yet from NASCAR and didn’t know if it would appeal if so.
“I don’t have a lot of details on where we’ll go from here,” he said. “We have an idea (of a potential penalty) based on other teams, but we’ll wait and take it as it comes.”
Watch the full interview with Almirola on NASCAR America on NBCSN from 5:30-6:30 p.m. today.