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NASCAR threatens maximum penalties for next rear window violation

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After hitting Kyle Larson‘s team Tuesday with the fifth rear window violation in the Cup Series this season, a NASCAR official said the next penalty will be much harsher.

Senior vice president of competition Scott Miller said NASCAR will issue a maximum L1 penalty — a three-race suspension of a team member, a 40-point deduction and a $75,000 fine — for the next rear-window penalty. By comparison, Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet team lost 20 driver and owner points, car chief David Bryant was suspended two races, and crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $50,000.

“We really got to, as an industry, wind out of ‘Penalty Wednesday,’ and one of the things we’ve seen is all this rear-window stuff,” Miller told SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Dave Moody during a late Tuesday afternoon interview. “It’s not to single the (Larson’s team) out. We’ve had too many of these rear-window violations, and so we are prepared to write the same penalty we’ve been writing for the 42, but this has to stop.

“From this point forward, we’re prepared to ramp up penalties, and we’re going to go to the high end to see if we can get the message across because obviously what we’re doing now is not really working. If we get down the road and that doesn’t work, we’ll ramp the penalties for this violation up even further. It’s just one of those things as an industry we have to stop.”

The penalty range for an L1 penalty is a one- to three-race suspension, a 10- to 40-point deduction and a fine of $25,000 to $75,000. Miller said “Yes, sir,” when asked by Moody if the next penalty would be the maximum in every category.

“I know you guys don’t want to talk about it, the teams don’t want to talk about it, the fans don’t want to hear about it,” Miller said. “This is the first step to us trying to get our arms around it. I would expect the message will be enough to rethink their engineering in that area, but I guess only time will tell.”

This is the second consecutive week that NASCAR has announced penalties three days after the race. Last week, the teams of Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon were dinged for violations at Dover International Speedway.

NASCAR rarely addresses penalties extensively in public, but Miller said an exception was made in this case to send the message to teams.

“What I”m most frustrated about is we’re talking about this and we’re not talking about an exciting event coming up this weekend at the All-Star Race that a lot of work has gone into and not only NASCAR but a huge amount from the teams and engine builders,” Miller said. “I think it’s going to be a really fun event, and we’re not talking about that. I’d like to touch on that for a minute instead of the penalties.”

Kyle Larson’s team loses final appeal

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Kyle Larson’s team lost its final appeal Friday night and enters this weekend’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway 36 points out of the final transfer spot.

Larson’s team twice appealed the penalty — which included a 10-point deduction — NASCAR handed the team for improper repairs at Talladega Superspeedway.

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel ruled against Larson’s team on Friday morning. The team appealed to Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, on Friday night. He affirmed NASCAR’s penalty. His decision is final.

Larson had a rough Friday. Along with losing both appeals, he hit the wall in practice and had to go to a backup car, meaning he will start Sunday’s race at the rear of the field.

NASCAR penalized the team for a violation from last weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway after Larson spun and had damage. NASCAR found an issue with the repairs Larson’s team made to the car.

NASCAR penalized the team for violating Section 10.9.9.d in the rulebook, which notes “Damaged vehicle repair, regardless of how the damage occurred, is permitted to have original body parts removed or reattached in their original location with fasteners and/or tape only.”

NASCAR penalized the team 10 points, fined crew chief Chad Johnston $25,000 and suspended car chief David Bryant one race for the L1 penalty.

Obviously a 10-point penalty doesn’t help but even with 26 points back we were going to have to go into this week and get a win to get to the next round,” Larson said Friday at Kansas Speedway.

Here is the statement on Moss’ decision Friday night:

The National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss, heard and considered the appeal of an L1 level penalty issued on Oct. 17 to Chad Johnston (crew chief), David Bryant (car chief), Kyle Larson (driver) and Chip Ganassi Racing (owner), relative to the No. 42 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team at Talladega Superspeedway.

The penalty concerns the following section in the 2018 NASCAR Rule Book: Section 10.9.9.d Damage Vehicle Policy/Mechanical Repair.

The original penalty assessed: Johnston was fined $25,000; Bryant was suspended from the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Points Event; Chip Ganassi Racing was assessed with the loss of 10 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series owner points; Larson was assessed with the loss of 10 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver points.

Upon hearing the testimony, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer made the following decisions:

  1. The Appellants violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice;
  2. The decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to uphold the original Penalty issued by NASCAR is affirmed and upheld.

The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties.

Cup starting lineup at Kansas

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Fords swept the top five spots for Sunday’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway.

Joey Logano led the way with a lap of 191.646 mph. He will be joined on the front row by Kevin Harvick (191.178 mph). They were followed by Aric Almirola (190.968), Ryan Blaney (190.934) and Brad Keselowski (190.725).

Toyota cars took starting spots sixth through ninth. The top Chevrolet was Alex Bowman in 10th.

Click here for starting lineup

NASCAR America celebrates 1,000th episode

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NASCAR America aired its 1,000th episode today from Kansas Speedway.

On the show, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was surprised to learn that he was part of the first episode. The show aired the Monday after he won the 2014 Daytona 500 and he was a featured guest.

This year, Earnhardt joined as a host with his weekly #WednesDale episode.

Scan All has been an important fixture of the show and a compilation of some of Clint Bowyer‘s best moments over the radio highlighted the show.

Of course, a look back at the past four seasons would not be complete without a blooper reel, which can be seen in the video above.

For more, watch the videos above.

Joey Logano wins pole for Kansas Cup race, playoff contenders sweep top five

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Joey Logano got through Turns 3 & 4 faster than the rest of the Cup field at Kansas Speedway and recorded a lap of 191.646 mph to win the pole for Sunday’s race (2 p.m. ET on NBC).

This is Logano’s second pole of the season and first on an unrestricted track. His previous pole came at Talladega this spring.

The last two races at Kansas have been won from by the pole winner with Kevin Harvick doing so this spring and Martin Truex Jr. last fall.

Playoff contenders swept the top five positions with Harvick (191.178 mph) second, Aric Almirola (190.968) third, Ryan Blaney (190.934) fourth and Brad Keselowski (190.725) fifth. All are in Fords.

Among the other playoff contenders: Kyle Busch (190.543) qualified seventh, Alex Bowman (189.994) qualified 10th, Kurt Busch (189.593 mph) qualified 11th and Truex (189.387) was 12th.

Joe Gibbs Racing took the remaining spots in the top 12 with Erik Jones (190.570) fastest among the non-playoff contenders in sixth. Daniel Suarez (190.449 mph) was eighth and Denny Hamlin (190.027) ninth. 

Playoff drivers Chase Elliott and Clint Bowyer failed to advance to the Round of 12 despite each of them making two runs. Elliott lines up 13th with a speed of 190.027 mph; Bowyer was 14th (189.980)

Kyle Larson rolled out a backup car after crashing in practice. He was qualifying for pit selection only since he will have to fall to the back of the pack, but could only muster the 27th-fastest time of 187.162 mph.

Click here for qualifying results