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.

About Greg Engle 7420 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.