Race Weekend Central

Multiple Crew Chiefs to Miss Pocono Due to Penalties

On Wednesday, NASCAR released their weekly penalty report.  While there no real indications that anything big was coming, the hammer came down fairly strong on a number of teams.  No less than three Sprint Cup teams will be without their crew chiefs on Sunday in Pocono (pending appeals, of course).

Brian Pattie, crew chief for Greg Biffle, has been fined $50,000 and suspended two races for multiple infractions.  According to NASCAR, Biffle’s car in post-race inspection was found to have a body design that “…either was not submitted to NASCAR for approval, or did not conform to approved body designs.”  This is considered to be a P3-level penalty.  Biffle has also been docked 15 driver points and the team has been docked 15 owner points.

Both Kurt Busch and AJ Allmendinger‘s cars were found to have lug nut violations after Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600.  As a reminder, cars must have all 20 lug nuts “installed in a safe and secure manner” on the car at all times, especially after the race.  If they are not, it is a P3-level penalty.  As a result, both crew chiefs (Tony Gibson and Randall Burnett, respectively) have been fined $20,000 and suspended for this weekend’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Tony Stewart‘s No. 14 was found to have body surface issues during pre-race inspection, a P2-level penalty.  As a result, crew chief Mike Bugarewicz has been placed on probation for the rest of the year.

Four more Cup teams picked up warnings in Charlotte.  Paul Menard‘s No. 27 failed pre-qualifying template inspection thrice on Thursday.  Since it is the second time the team has been warned for that infraction, Menard will miss the first 15 minutes of opening practice on Friday.

Aric Almirola‘s team received two warnings.  The first was for failing the laser inspection twice prior to qualifying.  Then, the team failed the template inspection twice.

Matt Kenseth‘s No. 20 also failed the laser inspection twice to earn a warning.  Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson‘s cars both failed the templates twice and were warned as well.

In the XFINITY Series, Denny Hamlin‘s race winning No. 18 and Ryan Reed‘s No. 16 both failed pre-race inspection three times.  Both teams received warnings as a results.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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So where is the outrage from FS readers? Oh yeah, the name Kyle Busch appears nowhere in the list of those penalized, so these “cheaters” get a free pass from the faithful.


That, or nobody gives a crap anymore. Plus, most of these teams are mid-pack at best, so give it a rest!

Tim S.

That sums it up. P this, p that, number whatever. All a bunch of rule mumbo jumbo that many fans haven’t bothered to learn.

Bill B

Hey I like Kurt less than Kyle. What do you want to hear?


Kyle’s truck got nailed with a penalty. I guess that qualifies for Brian.

Jr. and Johnson got warnings…again. I bet Hendrick is losing a lot of sleep now. Be afraid, Rick Hendrick! Be very afraid!

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