NASCAR suspended crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., tire changer Wesley McPherson and tire carrier Eric Pinkiert after the left front tire rolled off during the June 2 Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway. The jackman dropped the jack, signaling Briscoe to leave the pits, before the left front tire had been attached. It rolled off shortly after leaving pit road.
Section 126.96.36.199.3.c of the series rule book states: “Loss of wheel(s) due to improper installation will result in a mandatory minimum four race suspension of the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier of the lost wheel(s).’’
Hillman, McPherson and Pinkiert all missed last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. They will miss races at Gateway (Saturday), Iowa (June 23) and Kentucky (July 6). They’ll be eligible to return July 19 at Eldora Speedway.
Keselowski previously said he thought the penalty’s intent was to ensure teams didn’t tighten three lug nuts instead of all five in an effort to have faster pit stops. He notes that is not what happened in the team’s case.
Keselowski said Tuesday in a conference call with reporters that he had issues with the rule. When he talked to reporters he said he had not made a final decision.
“It’s not an easy decision because on one side I think the penalty is not a good penalty,’’ Keselowski said. “I think the system for the penalty is not a good system. And I’m very disappointed in it. And on the other side, I feel like if we continue to appeal every penalty that it’s just going to bog down my operation.
“It’s almost one of those things where we can’t afford a defense attorney. So we’re probably just going to have to plead guilty even though we don’t think it’s right, and we think it’s not the right decision made, but that’s the field we play in.’’