NASCAR officially suspends Sadler crew chief, issues other penalties after Phoenix

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Elliott Sadler. (Getty Images)
Elliott Sadler. (Getty Images)
Elliott Sadler. (Getty Images)

NASCAR made it official Wednesday suspending Xfinity Series crew chief Kevin Meendering for two missing lug nuts found after the Xfinity Series race last Saturday.  Meendering is the crew chief for driver Elliott Sadler who is among the Xfinity Series Championship 4 at this Saturday’s final Xfinity race at Homestead.

Elliott finished 13th last Saturday and was locked into the first ever Xfinity Series Championship 4.  However, his JR Motorsports Chevrolet was found to have two missing lug nuts in post race inspection.  In a rare move, NASCAR announced that night the two missing lug nuts. Under current NASCAR rules, amended prior to the Chase, the infraction brought a P3 level penalty; a crew chief suspension, but no loss of points. Meendering  was also fined $10,000 Wednesday.  Prior to the amended rules, one missing lug nut was cause for a crew chief suspension and loss of points.  Now more than two missing lug nuts will result in a crew chief suspension and loss of points.

JR Motorsports race operations manager Mike Bumgarner will lead Sadler and the team in the championship finale.

On the Sprint Cup side, crew chief Adam Stevens was fined $10,000 in a P2 level penalty for a missing lug nut on the No. 18 Toyota of drive Kyle Busch found after Sunday’s Cup race.  Busch finished second and will be part of the Cup series Championship 4 this Sunday.

Several other teams were given written warnings and the Penske Racing team of driver Brad Keselowski will lost 15 minutes of practice time this weekend at Homestead.  The No. 2 Ford failed pre-race laser inspection (LIS) three times and also failed pre-race template inspection twice.

Other Sprint Cup written warnings issued to the 22 of driver Joey Logano, 24 of Chase Elliott and 98  of Reed Sorenson for twice failing pre-race LIS. Also the No. 10 of Danica Patrick failed template inspection twice before qualifying,  and the 78 of Martin Truex Jr. and 95 of Michael McDowell received written warnings for twice failing pre-qualifying LIS.

In the Xfinity Series, six teams twice failed pre-race LIS and received warnings: The 3 of driver Ty Dillon, the 15 of D.J. Kennington along with the 18 Kyle Busch, 20 Erik Jones, 33 Brandon Jones and 60 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The full penalty report can be found here.