Kyle Busch‘s team could face major penalties following an incident on Lap 19 of the AAA Drive For Autism 400 at Dover International Speedway.
Busch, who started from the pole, pitted for four tires and fuel under yellow after a spin by Ryan Sieg, who was making his NASCAR Cup debut.
His crew dropped the jack before the left-rear tire’s lug nuts were tightened. Busch left on the jack dropping, and the left-rear tire quickly fell off after he exited the pits. He managed to drive the car on three tires around the track back to the pits but sustained minor damage to the left rear of his No. 18 Toyota Camry.
Busch’s crew chief, Adam Stevens, along with the tire carrier Kenny Barber and tire changer Jake Seminara are subject to a major penalty according to the NASCAR Cup Rule Book. Per Section 126.96.36.199.3.c, all three could face a four-race suspension for the pit road mistake.
“One things for sure, we were trying to get the lug nuts on there and we didn’t and the jack got dropped,” car owner Joe Gibbs said. “We’ll just explain to them exactly what happened and see what they say. (With) the rule book, what we’re trying to prevent is somebody going with less lug nuts. That certainly wasn’t our case. We were trying to get them on.”
As for possibly losing Stevens for four races?
“Anytime you lose Adam Stevens that’s a big deal for us,” Gibbs said.
This marks the second time such an incident occurred this weekend. In Friday’s Truck Series race, Brad Keselowski Racing suffered a similar incident when Chase Briscoe pulled away and the tire came off his truck. His crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier could suffer four-week suspensions when NASCAR announces weekly decides on penalties this week.
Even Briscoe was flummoxed when he saw what happened to Busch.
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Justin Allgaier also expressed amazement.