NASCAR penalizes Chase Elliott’s team for Chicago infraction

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NASCAR docked Chase Elliott and his team 15 points, dropping the Hendrick Motorsports driver in the playoff standings with two races left in the opening round.

NASCAR also suspended Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson one race and fined him $25,000 for the L1 infraction. NASCAR also suspended car chief Joshua Kirk one race. The team was penalized for violating section 20.20 in the Cup rulebook for modifying components to affect aerodynamic properties of the car.

Elliott finished second in last weekend’s race at Chicagoland Speedway. Elliott’s race is encumbered, meaning he does not collect the one playoff point he earned for winning the second stage.

Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the penalties.

Kenny Francis, who serves as Hendrick Motorsports’ vehicle technical director, has been named interim crew chief for Elliott for this weekend at New Hampshire. Kevin Hulstein will serve as the team’s car chief.

Elliott drops to 2,044 points, dropping him from sixth to eighth in the standings. The top 12 will advance to the second round. Elliott is 18 points ahead of the cutoff.

Here is what the standings look like now:

2,102 — Martin Truex Jr.

2,075 — Kyle Larson

2,067 — Kevin Harvick

2,061 — Brad Keselowski

2,061 — Kyle Busch

2,058 — Denny Hamlin

2,046 — Jimmie Johnson

2,044 — Chase Elliott

2,039 — Matt Kenseth

2,034 — Ryan Blaney

2,031 — Jamie McMurray

2,026 — Austin Dillon

Cutoff for Round 2

2,026 — Kurt Busch

2,022 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2,021 — Kasey Kahne

2,019 — Ryan Newman

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