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2020 NASCAR Cup Series penalties


Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky at Building Speed has once again taken a dive into penalties issued during the 2020 Cup season.

A few nuggets are highlighted below, but checkout the article for many more details.

Sent to the Back:

46 drivers out of the 54 drivers who drove at least one race this year got send to the back at least once.

Unsurprisingly, underfunded teams started in the back much more frequently than well-funded teams. But among those well-funded teams…

  • Austin Dillon and Kurt Busch both started from the back four times.

    • Dillon got sent back once for failing inspection, twice for unapproved adjustments and once for a backup car
    • Kurt Busch had three failed inspections and a backup car

  • Series Champion Chase Elliott went to the back three times – including for the last race of the year. Twice was for failing inspection and the third was because they had to change a transmission.
  • No Penske car got sent to the back more than twice. Keselowski and Logano each only had one start from the back.

In-Race penalties:

NASCAR assessed 337 in-race penalties during the 2020 season. Every full-time (or near full-time) car got at least one.

Ryan Newman, Timmy Hill, Quin Houff and Corey Lajoie tie for the most in-race penalties at 16 each. Together, these four drivers account for 17.5% of all in-race penalties in 2020.

  • One tie breaker here is number of races run. After his accident in the Daytona 500, Newman only ran a total of 33 races, whereas the others ran 36. So Newman takes the prize on this one.

Post-race penalties:

Finally, we come to the penalties after the race. These are usually just loose lug nuts, but they’re sometimes a little more serious than that.

  • The only two post-race admonitions that weren’t lugnuts this year were the 11-car’s ballast issue and the 48 being disqualified.
  • The 11 car had the largest number of post-race penalties with 6. The 4 and 19 were second, each with five.
  • The 14 got two two-lug loose penalties this year, the only car to do so

See much more at Building Speed.