NASCAR ejected the crew chiefs for JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after an inspection issue was discovered before Saturday’s qualifying.
NASCAR also docked both drivers 10 points and each team 10 points for the L1 infraction. Both drivers also will move to the rear before the start of today’s Cup race at Auto Club Speedway. Stenhouse was to have started 10th. Preece was to have started 20th.
NASCAR ejected crew chiefs Trent Owens (Preece) and Brian Pattie (Stenhouse) after both teams violated Section 20.20 of the Rule Book: Assembled Vehicle Overall Rules. That section states: “Parts, systems, devices, omissions or component failures cannot affect what what should otherwise be the normal airflow over the body of the vehicle.”
“We are aware of the penalties handed down by NASCAR this morning at Auto Club Speedway,” car owner Tad Geschickter said in a statement. “Brian Burns will be the crew chief for Ryan Preece and the No. 37 team, and Eddie Pardue will be the crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 47 team. We have no plans to appeal the penalty at this time.”
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ryan Preece praised his team for converting teammate Chris Buescher’s backup car into Preece’s primary car Friday after the hauler carrying Preece’s cars and equipment caught fire this week en route to Kansas Speedway.
“I know some of the guys haven’t had much sleep, very proud of them,” Preece said.
The team’s hauler pulled over near New Columbia, Illinois, on Thursday after a fire in the rear axle area that spread to the hauler. A team spokesperson told NBC Sports that crew chief Eddie Pardue and a couple of team members flew there to take what could be salvaged before driving to Kansas City.
The team spokesperson said that the lockers and uniforms in the hauler were heavily damaged. Both cars had damage with the backup car suffering smoke damage.
NASCAR allowed JTG Daugherty Racing to enter the garage at 8 a.m. ET Friday — five hours before the garage was scheduled to open — and allowed members from both JTG Daugherty teams to work on the car. Preece said he was there with the team when it arrived and worked on the interior as the crew converted the car.
“We’re in it as a team,” Preece said. “I wasn’t going to show up later in the afternoon. I wanted them to know that I was right there with them. I wanted to help in every way I could.”
Preece said his car was loose in the first practice session Friday at Kansas Speedway. He was 32nd on the speed chart in that session, making it on track about 10 minutes after practice began.
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Eddie Pardue and Tristan Smith have switched places for Ryan Preece‘s team, JTG Daugherty Racing confirmed Friday.
Pardue, who had been an engineer, takes over as crew chief for Preece. Smith, who had been the crew chief, moves to an engineer role.
Preece, a Cup rookie, ranks 27th in points heading into Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC). He has one top-five finish and three top-10 results this season. His best finish this season is third at Talladega in April.
The Circle Sport/The Motorsports Group announced that Eddie Pardue is the new crew chief on its No. 33 Chevrolet effective immediately.
Pardue, who was the team’s head of engineering, will lead the effort on Jeffrey Earnhardt‘s car this weekend in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This will be his first Cup race as a crew chief since 2008, when he led Greg Biffle in one race at Auto Club Speedway. He has three wins in 338 races as crew chief in the Xfinity Series dating back to 1998.
The former competition director for Red Horse Racing in the Camping World Truck Series, Pardue replaces Pay Tryson, who has been released from the team.
Tryson directed Boris Said at Sonoma Raceway, where he finished 29th. Earnhardt has been in the No. 33 in every other race. His best result in his first 15 starts was 26th in the Daytona 500.
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