DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chase Elliott’s road to advance to the next round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs got a little bit more difficult following the release of NASCAR’s penalty report on Tuesday.
NASCAR officials penalized Chase Elliott and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team for an infraction discovered in post-race inspection after Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway.
The No. 24 Chevrolet was found in violation of Section 20.20 in the NASCAR Rule Book — modification of components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle — during post-race inspection after the Tales of the Turtles 400.
Elliott finished second in the race after leading 42 laps during the middle portion of the event, however his finish has been ruled encumbered as a result of the L1-level penalty that has been assessed to the team.
In addition, crew chief Alan Gustafson has been fined $25,000 and suspended for one race, car chief Joshua Kirk was suspended for one race and the team was docked 15 driver points and 15 owner points.
The loss in driver points dropped Elliott from sixth place to eighth place in the postseason standings, with two races remaining before the first cutoff.
Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the penalty. Kenny Francis will serve as Elliott’s crew chief this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in place of Gustafson.
Also on Tuesday, the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Biagi-DenBeste Racing No. 98 team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series received safety violations for unsecured lug nuts at Chicagoland.
Matt Kenseth’s crew chief Jason Ratcliff was assessed a $10,000 fine, while Darrell Wallace Jr.’s crew chief Jonathan Hanson was docked $5,000.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
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