NASCAR penalizes Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. teams

By The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 6, 2017 at 11:08 PM
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NASCAR levied a blow to the Joe Gibbs Racing team on Wednesday after Denny Hamlin's car was deemed to have an illegal rear suspension during the Southern 500 race this past weekend at Darlington Raceway.

It suspended crew chief Mike Wheeler for two races and fined him $50,000 while Hamlin will not be awarded the five playoff points for winning the race. Hamlin's first-place finish in the event was ruled encumbered as a result of the infraction.

The team was also assessed with a loss of 25 owner and driver points.

Hamlin's winning car in the Xfinity Series also had an illegal suspension, resulting in a two-race suspension for crew chief Eric Phillips in addition to a fine of $25,000.

In the Monster Energy Series, Hendrick Motorsports was handed a safety violation for having two loose lug nuts on the right rear tire following Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 22nd-place finish Sunday in the Southern 500. Crew chief Greg Ives was fined $20,000.

Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the penalty, according to a team statement. Travis Mack will serve as the No. 88's interim crew chief.

In the Xfinity Series, Team Penske was handed a penalty for having an illegal rear suspension.

Crew chief Greg Erwin was fined $25,000 and suspended from two races, the team was assessed with the loss of 25 owner points, and Joey Logano's second-place finish was ruled encumbered.

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