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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.”

NASCAR docks Kyle Larson 20 points for rear window infraction

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NASCAR docked Kyle Larson’s team 20 driver and owner points for a rear-window violation from Saturday night’s race at Kansas Speedway.

Larson dropped from 10th to 11th in the standings behind Aric Almirola. Larson also lost one playoff point from his second stage victory at Kansas.

Car chief David Bryant was suspended for two points races for the L1 violation. Crew chief, Chad Johnston was fined $50,000

MORE: NASCAR official says teams will get maximum penalties for future rear-window violations

The NASCAR penalty report cited Larson’s team for violating “Section 20.4.h Body and 20.4.8.1.b&c Rear Window Support and Structure; rear window support braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times.”

In a statement, Chip Ganassi Racing announced it wouldn’t challenge the penalty: “Although all parties agree that the infraction was unintentional and the result of contact, we will not appeal the penalty so that we can focus our energy on the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600.”

After he finished fourth at Kansas, Larson blamed his sagging rear window on damage from contact with Ryan Blaney with 20 laps to go.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about Larson’s car: “We see claims of damage, but I think in talking to our folks, I’ve never seen damage cause that.”

It’s the fifth rear-window violation in the Cup Series this season and the third in two weeks.

After the May 6 race at Dover International Speedway, the teams of Clint Bowyer (second) and Daniel Suarez (third) received similar penalties to Larson’s.

Kevin Harvick also was penalized after his win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, and Chase Elliott’s team was punished after the April 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The only other penalty NASCAR announced Tuesday was a $10,000 fine to crew chief Todd Gordon for an unsecured lug nut on Joey Logano‘s car after the Kansas race.

NASCAR executive addresses Kyle Larson’s rear window issue at Kansas

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Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, has cast doubt on Kyle Larson‘s claim that his rear window was sagging after Saturday’s Cup race due to race damage.

“We see claims of damage, but I think in talking to our folks, I’ve never seen damage cause that,” O’Donnell said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.” “We’ll go back like we always do and thoroughly inspect the car. It’s an area we continue to focus on because the teams know that they found something there and if we have to react, we will, but again, still looking at it.”

Extra attention was paid to Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet following the race at Kansas Speedway. An official kept watch over it on pit road, and it was taken to the R&D Center for additional scrutiny.

The rear window appeared to be sagging, which Larson attributed to damage from an incident with Ryan Blaney with 20 laps to go.

“Definitely (from the damage) because I didn’t have it until after Blaney and I got together, so I’m glad to see that we have a lot of damage back there,” Larson told FS1 after finishing fourth. “Because obviously if there was no damage, we’d probably get a penalty, and who knows we might still, but I got a ton of damage back there.

“These cars are pretty rigid, and one piece of damage can affect the whole rest of the car as you can see, so we’ll see what NASCAR says about it, but I think it’s pretty obvious we have a ton of damage back there.”

NASCAR has issued four penalties for rear window violations this season: Kevin Harvick’s team after a Las Vegas win; Chase Elliott’s team after an 11th at Texas; and Daniel Suarez and Clint Bowyer each lost their car chiefs for two races because of rear window support brace failures at Dover.

O’Donnell was asked about the possibility of news later in the week about Larson’s car.

“I think there’s certainly something you can look for,” O’Donnell said. “With the race teams, no different than rear skew in the past where it was an area teams found that they could work on. Suddenly, it’s become the rear window area.”

Justin Allgaier no longer qualified for Xfinity playoffs after Dover penalty

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Justin Allgaier‘s win in last weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway will not qualify him for the playoffs after a violation was found on his No. 7 Chevrolet after the race.

NASCAR stated in its penalty report Wednesday that the truck trailing arm spacers and pinion angle shims were not in complete contact with corresponding mating surface.

As a result, crew chief Jason Burdett has been fined $25,000 and suspended from the next two points races for the L1 infraction. Allgaier has also been docked 25 points and the team loses 25 owner points.

Allgaier was second in the season standings with 368 points. He is now tied with Daniel Hemric for fourth with 343 points.

NASCAR confirmed Allgaier will keep his $100,000 Dash 4 Cash earnings.

JR Motorsports will not appeal the penalty. Burdett’s replacement will be determined next week.

JRM released the following statement from General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller.

“As a highly competitive race team that challenges for wins each and every weekend, we’re deeply disappointed and frustrated in today’s ruling. We strive to produce race victories for JR Motorsports’ partners, fans and employees while adhering to the rulebook. To that end, the No. 7 team put on a winning performance in Saturday’s race and received damage on the last lap that we believe contributed to this infraction. We will never fault ourselves for that.”

Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 team was also hit with a penalty for the splitter on Jeb Burton‘s car not meeting specification during inspection Friday. Crew chief Nick Harrison has been fined $10,000 and car chief Michael Scearce has been suspended from the next points race for the L1 violation.

Burton finished 12th in the race.

In the Camping World Truck Series, Todd Gilliland‘s crew chief, Wes Ward, was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut on the No. 4 Toyota.

Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez lose 20 points, car chiefs for two races for Dover penalties

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NASCAR docked Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez 20 points each and both will lose their car chief for two points races for L1 violations discovered after last weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway.

Bowyer finished second Sunday. Suarez was third, his best Cup finish on an oval.

Bowyer’s crew chief, Mike Bugarewicz, was fined $50,000 and car chief Jerry Cook was suspended two points races. The team also was penalized 20 owner points. The No. 14 Ford violated Section 20.4.8.1, which mandates “rear window support braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times.” Bowyer’s finish will not count in any tie-breaking procedures.

The point penalty Bowyer received is consistent with those issued for similar violations to the teams of Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott earlier this season. Harvick is Bowyer’s teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Bowyer exited Dover fourth in the standings with 380 points. He loses one spot to Brad Keselowski.

Regarding an appeal, an SHR spokesperson said the team is “evaluating its options and continuing its dialog with NASCAR.”

SHR released the following statement from Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition:

“We had a minor part failure due to the heavy loads and track conditions experienced at Dover. It had no competitive impact, and our race car fit all the templates and passed all the inspections throughout the race weekend, including pre- and post-race.”

Suarez’s crew chief, Scott Graves, was fined $50,000 and car chief Todd Brewer was suspended for the next two points events for a violation in the rear window support and structure. The team also was penalized 20 owner points. The rear window on the No. 19 Toyota was “not flush to deck lid.”

Suarez was 17th with 234 points. He drops three spots to 20th behind Ryan Newman.

Joe Gibbs Racing will not appeal its penalties. Wesley Sherrill will serve as car chief at Kansas. The car chief for Charlotte is to be determined.

Austin Dillon‘s crew chief, Justin Alexander, was fined $25,000 and car chief Greg Ebert, was suspended one points race for the splitter on the No. 3 Chevrolet not meeting specifications.

Dillon finished 26th at Dover.

Also, Kurt Busch‘s crew chief, Billy Scott, was fined $10,000 for an unsecured lug nut.