None of you asked for it, but I’ll break down the news, its significance and un-answered questions of Hendrick Motorsports’ penalty.
NASCAR handed HMS an L2-level penalty, Wednesday, for unapproved modifications to the body of its cars, last weekend, at Phoenix Raceway. Each car’s crew chief (Cliff Daniels, Rudy Fugle, Alan Gustafson and Blake Harris) was handed a four-race suspension and fined $100,000. Furthermore, NASCAR docked each team 100 owner/driver points and 10 playoff points. Excluding the No. 9 team, which Josh Berry (who earns points in the XFINITY Series) drove in place of the injured Chase Elliott.
These penalties drop Alex Bowman from the points lead to 23rd, William Byron to 29th and Kyle Larson to 32nd. Aside from Byron, this reset Larson to zero playoff points. Byron, however, resets to three.
HMS announced it plans to appeal the penalties, but won’t request deferrals of suspensions. So four substitute crew chiefs will sit on the war wagons, this weekend, at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
On a scale of 1-10, this is a five.
For most teams, this is a 10. With Hendrick, however, I doubt this holds them down. Considering that after NASCAR confiscated the parts, it still dominated Sunday’s race at Phoenix.
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For NASCAR’s all-time winningest team, this isn’t Izuku Midoriya fighting Muscular during his forest lodge trip training. Rather, I suspect this will be Deku jobbing Muscular.
I’ll go a step further and predict that by the halfway point of the season, Bowman, Byron and Larson make up the points they lost with this penalty.
I can’t really think of anything Wednesday’s penalty announcement left un-answered. This was pretty cut-n-dry and NASCAR confiscated the parts, before it let the Hendrick cars race, Sunday.
That’s all, for now.