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.”