BJ McLeod’s crew chief suspended for next 4 Cup races

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BJ McLeod‘s crew chief Lee Leslie and two other crewmen have been suspended for the next four Cup races, NASCAR announced Tuesday.

McLeod’s No. 78 Ford had a right-rear wheel detach from the car at Talladega Superspeedway on Lap 87, sending the car for a spin at the exit of Turn 2 just after a restart. Also sidelined as part of the penalty are jackman Alpha Lamin and rear tire changer Kevin Teaf.

The loss of the wheel violates section 10.5.2.6 in the NASCAR rulebook, which states: “Loss or separation of an improperly installed tire(s)/wheel(s) from the vehicle will result in a four Race suspension of the crew chief and two additional team members.”

The penalty for McLeod’s team members goes through the May 22 All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Live Fast Motorsports becomes the sixth team to face this penalty. Kaz Grala and Justin Haley both lost wheels in the Daytona 500. Todd Gilliland suffered the same fate a week later at Auto Club Speedway before Corey LaJoie lost one at Phoenix. Bubba Wallace also lost a wheel at Circuit of the Americas on March 27. Wallace regains crew chief Bootie Barker on the pit box this weekend at Dover Motor Speedway.

Haley’s Kaulig Racing team and Gilliland’s Front Row Motorsports program both appealed their penalties but both were upheld by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.