Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Lessens Hendrick Penalties

NASCAR has amended penalties set against Hendrick Motorsports, it announced March 29.

The original penalty was handed following the Phoenix Raceway NASCAR Cup Series weekend after NASCAR confiscated louvers from the HMS cars during a practice session.

NASCAR had originally cited the following sections in the penalty: Section 6.1 Time/Manner/Location; 14.1.C,D,Q, which relates to the assembly of the car, and 14.5.4.2.A, which cites the radiator duct.

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The penalties issued included a loss of 100 driver points and owner points for the Nos. 5, 24 and 48, as well as a deduction of 10 playoff points. The No. 9 team was also deducted 100 owner points and 10 playoff points. Each team was also fined $100,000 and all four crew chiefs were suspended for four races.

After an appeal hearing, the appeals board amended the penalty to restore all driver, owner and playoff points to the team.

“We are pleased that the National Motorsports Appeals Panel agreed that Hendrick Motorsports violated the rule book,” NASCAR said in a statement“However, we are disappointed that the entirety of the penalty was not upheld. A points penalty is a strong deterrent that is necessary to govern the garage following rule book violations, and we believe that it was an important part of the penalty in this case and moving forward. We will continue to inspect and officiate the NASCAR garage at the highest level of scrutiny to ensure a fair and level playing field for our fans and the entire garage.”

The $100,000 fines and suspensions, however, were upheld, making crew chiefs Cliff Daniels, Alan Gustafson, Rudy Fugle and Blake Harris eligible to return to the track at Martinsville Speedway.

“We are grateful to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel for their time and attention,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said. “Today’s outcome reflects the facts, and we’re pleased the panel did the right thing by overturning the points penalty. It validated our concerns regarding unclear communication and other issues we raised. We look forward to focusing on the rest of our season, beginning with this weekend’s race at Richmond.”

About the author

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Luken Glover joined the Frontstretch team in 2020 as a contributor, furthering a love for racing that traces back to his earliest memories. Glover inherited his passion for racing from his grandfather, who used to help former NASCAR team owner Junie Donlavey in his Richmond, Va. garage. A 2023 graduate from the University of the Cumberlands, Glover is the author of "The Underdog House," contributes to commentary pieces, and does occasional at-track reporting. Additionally, Glover enjoys working in ministry, coaching basketball, playing sports, and karting.

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14 Comments
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Bill B

Sounds like a load of crap to me.

steven dunham

This solves nothing, lets give the billionaire $400k in fines thats chump change to him but let his drivers have their points back… what a crock of shit

Bobby DK

Has anybody heard what the infraction or modification was done to the hood louvers? This team deducted points and money, this team deducted just points no money, this team fined money no points, this team has team members suspended for 1 week, 3 weeks ,4 weeks. Car chief gone. Crew chief suspended. Yep. Everything good!

Old School

You may want to rewrite that headline. NA$CAR didn’t lessen anything. It was the Appeal Board.

Mike

You know. The independent appeal board. Lol. Kind of like putins apointed congress.

Mike

Well we knew something would get overturned for hendrick. To bad that RFK didn’t receive the same treatment last year. But im not surprised. Thats why people quit watching or keeping up with nascar. Its their bias for the well connected teams. What a joke.

goblue

rfk raced with illegal parts,mr h’s team didnt.

Mike

Thats because nascar caught hendrick cheating before the race. So they waited until after the race for RFK. Nothing but timing. Same infraction, illegal parts

goblue

lets not forget,nascar allowed them on the track with those parts and then had them take em off before qualifing and the race.who ever allowed that to happen should be paying that fine.mr h made a nice donation to nascar to help nascar pay the bills.

kb

Well, is anybody surprised? Typical.

TiminPayson

Hendrick history. Got phony leukemia diagnosis to avoid prison, then wrote Clinton a big check for a felony pardon.
do you think this was a challenge?

DoninAjax

It wasn’t Carl Long.

John

Of course they did–it’s Hendrick. Let some other team try that . . . .

DoninAjax

Same for Gibbs. But Ford?

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