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NASCAR Promises to Ramp Up Penalties Following Larson Infraction

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Another week in the books for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series brings forth another round of penalties handed out by the sanctioning body.

This time, the No. 42 Chevrolet of Kyle Larson was found in violation of Section 20.4.h of the rule book, in relation to the rear window support and structure. His Chip Ganassi Racing entry’s rear window was not flush to Deck Lid. nor were the rear window support braces keeping the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times.

As a result, crew chief Chad Johnson was fined $50,000, with car chief David Bryant suspended for the next Cup Series points eligible events. With the Monster Energy All-Star Race this weekend, Bryant would be eligible to attend the event. Additionally, they lost 20 regular season driver and owner points. 

“Although all parties agree that the infraction was unintentional and the result of contact, we will not appeal the penalty so that we can focus our energy on the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600,” Chip Ganassi Racing released in a statement.

This marks the fifth penalty in relation to rear window violations, and third in two weeks, following against Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez and Clint Bowyer. Everybody saw the same penalties as listed above, except Elliott’s crew chief was suspended rather than car chief due to being the team’s second L1 penalty. 

With the slew of penalties, NASCAR has stated that they will be ramping them up moving forward, to the highest extent of what an L1 infraction can consist of. That includes a three-race suspension of a team member, a 40-point deduction and a $75,000 fine.

“We really got to, as an industry, wind out of ‘Penalty Wednesday,’ and one of the things we’ve seen is all this rear-window stuff,” Senior vice president of competition Scott Miller told SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Dave Moody. “It’s not to single the (Larson’s team) out. We’ve had too many of these rear-window violations, and so we are prepared to write the same penalty we’ve been writing for the 42, but this has to stop.

“From this point forward, we’re prepared to ramp up penalties, and we’re going to go to the high end to see if we can get the message across because obviously what we’re doing now is not really working. If we get down the road and that doesn’t work, we’ll ramp the penalties for this violation up even further. It’s just one of those things as an industry we have to stop.”

NASCAR also announced Joey Logano‘s crew chief Todd Gordon was fined $10,000 for improperly installed lug nuts.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.