NASCAR penalizes No. 9 Cup team after Phoenix

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway on March 9, 2018 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

NASCAR hit the No. 9 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team with an L1 penalty Wednesday.  The penalty was from a rear suspension violation found in post-race inspection after last Sunday’s race at ISM Raceway in Phoenix.

Officials said the team was found to have violated Section 20.14.2 of the Rule Book, which deals with rear suspension and trailing arm angles/pinion angle shims. According to the penalty report: Truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim surfaces must be in complete contact at all points, at all times. Failure to adhere to that can create additional sideforce and is a violation.

The team has been penalized 25 points for driver Chase Elliott and 25 owner points. Crew chief Alan Gustafson was also fined $50,000. Car chief Josh Kirk has been suspended for two races.

Elliott finished third in the TicketGuardian 500, won by Kevin Harvick. The No. 9 team has the option of filling an appeal to The National Motorsports Appeals Panel.

A total of seven teams were penalized for having one lug nut not secure in post-race inspection; five teams in the Monster Energy Series.

The Cup Series teams were the Nos. 11 (fourth place in Phoenix), 12 (16th), 17 (23rd), 22 (19th) and 78 (fifth place). The respective crew chiefs of those teams — Mike Wheeler, Jeremy Bullins, Brian Pattie, Todd Gordon and Cole Pearn — were each fined $10,000.

In the Xfinity Series, the Nos. 22 (first place) and 18 (third place) each had one lug nut not secure in post-race inspection. The respective crew chiefs — Brian Wilson and Eric Phillips — were each fined $5,000.

Finally, Brandon J. Lee and Wayne F. Kanter committed behavioral penalties and have been indefinitely suspended.

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