NASCAR notified teams that it will seek the firmest penalty currently available for a specific rear suspension violation after observing a rules infraction trend developing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Effective immediately, any penalty associated with the Section 20.14.2 Rear Suspension I-4 portion of the NASCAR Rule Book found in post-race inspection will be elevated to the maximum L1-level penalty.
The maximum penalty includes: an encumbered finish, the loss of 40 driver and owner points, a $75,000 crew chief fine ($40,000 in the XFINITY Series) and the suspension of both the team’s crew chief and car chief from the next three championship points events.
Three violations of the Section 20.14.2 Rear Suspension I-4 rule were discovered during post-race inspection following Darlington weekend. The race-winning No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Monster Energy Series team, along with the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY Series team and No. 22 Team Penske XFINITY Series team, all were issued penalties.
Denny Hamlin won both the Monster Energy Series and XFINITY Series Darlington races, in the No. 11 and No. 18, respectively. Joey Logano drove the No. 22 XFINITY Series car to a runner-up finish.
The sanctioning body’s observations of trends show teams are spending significant effort attempting to gain an advantage in the this particular area, and it believes an increase in penalties will curtail those actions.