DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — There’s a habit Austin Dillon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series team needs to break — immediately — if the driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet hopes to win the series championship.
Bluntly, the No. 3 team needs to stop failing inspection. Dillon’s pole-winning time for Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway was disallowed after inspectors found an open cooling hose into the cockpit of the car, a duct work violation that in theory would provide an aerodynamic advantage.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., second to Dillon in Friday’s time trials, gets credit for the pole, but Dillon retained his pit selection, with pit choices already having been made.
Dillon was required to start from the rear for Friday’s race.
A week earlier, Dillon’s team was penalized when the winning car at Kentucky Speedway failed the post-race height stick test. Crew chief Danny Stockman was fined $10,000 and Dillon lost six driver championship points, dropping him from the series lead.
Car owner Richard Childress attributed the ride height failure (too low in the rear) to a jack bolt that had worked its way loose on the bumpy Kentucky racetrack.
Stockman and car chief Robert Strmiska were on probation before the Kentucky infraction for using unapproved upper front bumper covers at Richmond, an infraction discovered on RCR and Turner Motorsports cars during opening-day inspection for the April 27 race.
NASCAR will review the cooling hose violation in its competition meeting early next week and may impose additional penalties then.