NASCAR ‘encumbers’ another finish, this time at Talladega

FONTANA, CA - MARCH 18: Aric Almirola, driver of the #98 Ballast Point Ford, talks to team owner, Richard Petty, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 18, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

NASCAR levied an L1 penalty against the Richard Petty Motorsports team Wednesday for infractions found during Talladega post-race inspection last Sunday.

The car, driven by Aric Almirola, finished fourth Sunday. According to NASCAR the car failed post-race rear wheel steer on the Laser Inspection System (LIS), violating Sections Post-Race General Inspection Measurements of the NASCAR rulebook.

Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer was fined $65,000 and suspended from the next three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points events. In addition, the team was assessed with the loss of 35 driver and 35 owner points. The finish is also encumbered meaning it will not count toward the season ending playoffs.

In other penalties issued Wednesday Ken Davis, the crew chief for the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7 Chevrolet was fined $10,000. The car, driven by Elliott Sadler to a 17th-place finish, was found to have a missing lug nut in post-race inspection.

The Petty team issued a statement that seemed to indicate the team will not appeal Wednesday’s penalty.

“We accept NASCAR’s decision and will continue to work to get the most out of our race cars every week while maintaining the NASCAR rulebook,” Philippe Lopez, Director of Competition, Richard Petty Motorsports said. “We look forward to Kansas this weekend.”

The latest encumbered finish comes just over a week after Joey Logano’s win at Richmond was encumbered after his team failed post-race inspection.

The full penalty report can be found here.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.