Monday, August 8, 2022

NASCAR issues L1-level penalties to 2-Car Cup Series teams

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The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action on July 24th at Pocono Raceway. Prior to the race, Officials announced L1 level penalties which were awarded to both Petty GMS Motorsports competitors.

NASCAR announced the news with a press release on July 23. The sanctioning authority said Ty Dillon’s #42 and Erik Jones’s #43 both violated NASCAR Rule Book Section 14.6.5.E (Rocker Box Assemblies).

As a result, both teams lost 35 owner points and 35 driver points. Both Dillon and Jones were already in must-win situations, and the penalties further diminished their chances of making the playoffs. Petty GMS Motorsports will not contest the penalties.

Along with the point penalties, both drivers lost their team principals for the race weekend at Pocono Raceway. According to Petty GMS Motorsports, Joey Cohen will step in and serve as a replacement for Jerame Donley in pit #42. Danny Efland will serve as a replacement for Dave Elenz in pit #43.

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The L1 level penalties weren’t the only ones imposed at Pocono Raceway. NASCAR also announced that five entries had failed inspection multiple times on July 23 and received minor penalties.

The No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing, No. 42 Petty GMS Motorsports, No. 7 Spire Motorsports, No. 77 Spire Motorsports and No. 17 RFK Racing all failed inspection twice, according to a press release from the sanctioning body passed. They each lost the opportunity to select a pit stand for the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400. Each team also lost a crew member for the race weekend.

While all five teams failed inspection, they managed to avoid a major penalty. On the third try, they all passed the exam. That means they won’t have to serve a pass-through penalty once the green flag flies on July 24 (3 p.m. ET, USA Network). All five drivers were able to compete in qualifying laps at Pocono Raceway.

Losing a crewmate and losing pit picks is never ideal, especially late in the regular season when winless drivers are battling for those elusive spots in the playoff field. Passing the inspection was crucial for Chris Buescher as he continues to seek his first win since the 2016 season.

After the #17 RFK Racing Ford Mustang made it on the third try, Buescher was able to set a qualifying lap during the Group A session. He had the second fastest time of 53.522 seconds and 168.155 mph. He joined Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney.

The RFK Racing driver is below the playoff line with six races remaining in the regular season, but he has topped the field on several occasions. That includes five top 10 finishes and a season-best second place finish at Sonoma Raceway.

Denny Hamlin, winner of two races in the 2022 season, achieved similar success after participating in qualifying. He also made the final lap after setting the fastest lap in Group B, joining Chase Elliott, Bubba Wallace, Kurt Busch and Daniel Suarez on the final lap.

Both Buescher and Hamlin showed speed in the last qualifying round. The No. 17 completed a lap in 53.279 seconds, which was enough for fifth place in the line-up. The No. 11 completed a lap in 52.944 seconds and captured the Busch Light Pole.

Five entries failed twice, but all were able to take part in qualifying. However, two other drivers will fall back to the back of the field after some unexpected repairs.

William Byron, driver of the #24 Chevrolet Camaro, spun during practice. He kept the entrance out of the wall and avoided major damage. Even though This was announced by Hendrick Motorsports that Team #24 needs to make repairs to the underside of the stock car. This is ruled an unauthorized adjustment, dropping Byron to the back of the field for the Cup Series race.

The No. 24 rider went out anyway and did a qualifying lap despite knowing he wouldn’t be able to keep his place in the line-up. Because he wanted to secure a solid pit selection for the race, which could potentially pay off during pit stops.

Likewise, Ross Chastain slipped during practice. He set the fastest time before losing control. He then went out and set the 11th fastest time in Group B. That lap time sparked debate about the extent of the damage, and Chastain later confirmed to media that the team needed to make some repairs. This ensured that he would also fall back to the back of the field.

CONTINUE READING: The Camping World Truck Series playoff field is set

Both Buescher and Hamlin showed speed in the last qualifying round. The No. 17 completed a lap in 53.279 seconds, which was enough for fifth place in the line-up. The No. 11 completed a lap in 52.944 seconds and captured the Busch Light Pole.

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