Too fast on pit road: Points leaders among most penalized for speeding

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The top two drivers in the points with four Cup races left in the regular season also are among the leaders in most pit road speeding penalties this season.

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson each have four pit road speeding penalties in the first 22 races of the season. Five others are tied with them in that category, according to Racing Insights.

Hamlin leads Larson by 13 points in the race for the regular-season championship. Their battle resumes Aug. 8 at Watkins Glen International (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

More important than how many speeding penalties a driver has is when they occur.

Larson was in position for a top-five finish at Atlanta earlier this month when he was called for a speeding penalty during a green-flag pit cycle on Lap 211 of the 260-lap race.

Larson finished 18th, placing five positions behind Hamlin. Had Larson scored a top-five finish, he could either been tied for the points lead or taken the points lead.

Hamlin was caught speeding on pit road at the end of the second stage of the same Atlanta race. He also was in the top five at the time of the penalty, costing him points.

Martin Truex Jr. has been penalized three times for speeding on pit road but none had as big an impact as at Road America on July 4. Running second to Kyle Busch, he pitted behind Busch two laps before the end of the second stage.

Truex beat Busch out of pit road and was set to take the lead when the rest of the field pitted during the stage break. That would have given Truex control of the race.

The pit road speeding penalty meant Truex had to drop to the back of the field. He restarted 32nd. Truex was not a factor for the win, finishing ninth. The penalty cost him a potential win and the playoff points that would have gone with it.

Among drivers in a Cup playoff position, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch are the only ones who have not had a pit road speeding penalty this season.

Pit road speeding penalties

4 — Denny Hamlin

4 — Kyle Larson

4 — Ross Chastain

4 — Daniel Suarez

4 — Corey LaJoie

4 — Anthony Alfredo

4 — Cody Ware

3 — Martin Truex Jr.

3 — Michael McDowell

3 — Austin Dillon

3 — Tyler Reddick

3 — Bubba Wallace

3 — Ryan Newman

3 — Josh Bilicki

3 — James Davison

2 — Kyle Busch

2 — Joey Logano

2 — Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2 — Chase Briscoe

2 — B.J. McLeod

1 — William Byron

1 — Chase Elliott

1 — Kevin Harvick

1 — Alex Bowman

1 — Ryan Blaney

1 — Christopher Bell

1 — Aric Almirola

1 — Chris Buescher

1 — Matt DiBenedetto

1 — Ryan Preece

1 — Cole Custer

1 — Quin Houff

1 — Garrett Smithley

0 — Kurt Busch

0 — Brad Keselowski

0 — Erik Jones

0 — Justin Haley