DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., March 11 (UPI) -- Jimmy Watts, a crew member of Sprint Cup driver Marcos Ambrose, has been suspended four races after a NASCAR rules violation at last Sunday's race in Atlanta.
During the Kobalt Tires 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Watts chased a loose tire into the infield grass with drivers approaching at about 200 miles per hour. Watts apparently never went on the track itself but NASCAR considers the infield part of the course, since an out-of-control car could end up there.
After a caution flag, several cars on pit road immediately lost a lap.
NASCAR said in a statement that Watts' suspension is for violating a rule that prohibits crew members from going onto the track for any reason unless told to do so by an authorized official.
"The crew member put himself in harm's way and it was a situation that could have caused unsafe conditions," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We can't have that at our events. We believe the violation warranted this particular penalty."
Watts will be on probation until Dec. 31.