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05/10 2018

NASCAR ISSUES STIFF PENALTIES TO CUP AND XFINITY TEAMS AFTER THE DOVER RACE WEEKEND

Justin Allgaier’s victory will be encumbered, not permitting him into the playoffs

BY:  MATT WEAVER

NASCAR released a series of significant postrace penalties on Wednesday afternoon that applies to teams in both the Monster Energy Cup Series and Xfinity Series divisions. In total, the sanctioning body issued a total of five L1-level penalties.

First, the Cup Series:

The No. 3, 14 and 19 teams, driven by Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez, respectively, all received L1 penalties for violations found during the postrace teardown at the NASCAR R&D Center in the days following Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway.

The No. 14 and 19 teams both had familiar rear window violations. The No. 14 car was found to have violated the same rear window brace rule that the cars driven by Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott were penalized for earlier this season.

A brace that is intended to support the rear window failed and did not meet the specifications for keeping the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times.

In the same area, but a different infraction, the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing team had a rear window decklid that was not sealed properly.

Crew chiefs Mike Bugarewicz (No. 14) and Scott Graves (No. 19) each were fined $50,000. Car chiefs Jerry Cook (No. 14) and Todd Brewer (No. 19) each were suspended for the next two Monster Energy Series points races.

The teams were also docked 20 driver points and 20 owner points. Clint Bowyer drove the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to a runner-up finish while Daniel Suarez drove the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to a third-place finish at Dover.

Bowyer falls from fourth to fifth in the Cup Series championship standings as a result of the penalty. Suarez falls from 17th to 20th in the standings and now 27 points behind the provisional playoff cutoff, instead of seven points.

Meanwhile, the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 was penalized for a splitter than did not meet rule specifications. Crew chief Justin Alexander was fined $25,000. Car chief Greg Ebert was suspended for the next two races.

All three teams reserve the right to appeal to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.

Meanwhile, in the Xfinity Series, Dover race winner Justin Allgaier was given a penalty that has the potential to alter his entire season.

The JR Motorsports No. 7 team was given an L1 for violating the portion of the rule book that concerns the truck trailing arm spacer — pinion angle shim not remaining in contact at all points, at all times. It is an infraction because this generates additional sideforce and is a violation.

Due to the penalty, Allgaier and the No. 7 team will not receive the benefits of a win, including the five playoff points and an automatic entry into the Xfinity Series playoffs. However, the team will retain the competition benefits, including the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.

The No. 7 team also was penalized 25 driver points and 25 owners points. Crew chief Jason Burdett was fined $25,000 and suspended from the next two Xfinity Series points events.