NASCAR handed down penalties to four Sprint Cup teams Wednesday for infractions found either during pre- or post-race inspection at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The teams of Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and AJ Allmendinger were issued P3 penalties, while Tony Stewart's team was assessed a P2 penalty.
Biffle's penalty was the most severe. His crew chief, Brian Pattie, was fined $50,000 and suspended from all points races through June 15. The No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing team will also lose 15 driver and 15 owner points. Biffle's Ford was cited following post-race inspection for including a body design that was either not submitted to NASCAR for approval or did not comply with the approved body designs.
The crew chiefs for Busch (Tony Gibson) and Allmendinger (Randall Burnett) were fined $20,000 and suspended from this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Both Busch's No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet and Allmendinger's No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet were found to have a missing lug nut at the end of Sunday’s race.
Last month, Kyle Busch’s crew chief and front tire changer were suspended after officials discovered a lug nut that wasn’t properly secured following a victory at Kansas Speedway.
The topic of lug nuts gained a big spotlight after Stewart accused NASCAR of playing loose with safety. Stewart said the lack of a lug nut enforcement policy put drivers and fans at risk by letting cars leave the pits with sometimes only three out of five lug nuts on the wheels, but his words angered NASCAR and resulted in a $35,000 fine.
Still, NASCAR decided to change the rule and created a policy that said all lug nuts must be “installed in a safe and secure manner” or else risk a fine and a one-race crew chief suspension if the infraction was discovered after the race.
Stewart's team, meanwhile, was penalized for body design flaws on the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet found in pre-race inspection. His crew chief, Mike Bugarewicz, has been placed on probation through Dec. 31.
Contributing: Jeff Gluck