Team Penske have been in the firing line once again this week, except this time it’s with the no.22 team of Joey Logano and his crew chief Todd Gordon. On Thursday, NASCAR issued an L-1 level penalty to the Logano team for rear suspension violation following their win at Richmond International Raceway last weekend. The penalty will mean a lot of things for the team, these include the win being deemed as “encumbered.”
In addition to this, Logano’s crew chief was fined $50,000, and banned for two races. As a driver, Logano lost 25 driver points – knocking him from 4th to 5th in the overall standings, and the team was stripped of 25 Owner points.
NASCAR adopted the “encumbered” policy back in 2016, and this particular penalty by Logano’s team will be the first time it has ever been in force. The consequence of this is that Logano won’t be able to use the win at Richmond as an entry into the playoffs later on in the season. Despite him still being listed as the race winner, if Logano qualifies for the playoff at the end of the season from a different race, he still won’t be able to use the 5 playoff points he’d have won from Richmond.
According to the penalty issued by NASCAR, the penalty was a result of: the truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.
Team Penske will not appeal this decision, and issued the following statement:
“We understand and accept the penalty that was communicated to us today by NASCAR following last weekend’s victory by the No. 22 car at Richmond. We are disappointed by the notice, however, we do not plan to appeal the penalty. The No. 22 team remains focused on competing for wins as we work towards the NASCAR Playoffs and a Championship. Race Engineer Miles Stanley will serve as Joey Logano’s crew chief this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, while Greg Erwin will help call race strategy on Sunday.”
It’s great to see NASCAR taking these things very seriously and making an example of teams that overstep the boundaries. Crews and teams will constantly try to bend and push the boundaries, but at least NASCAR is policing this and enforcing a limit that’ll keep things fair across the board.