UPDATE 2: 3-16-2023: Kaulig Racing will appeal the L2 penalty issued by NASCAR following the confiscation of a louver found on the No. 31 Chevrolet this past weekend at Phoenix Raceway.
Prior to qualifying on Saturday, only one of the two louvers on the No. 31 car was confiscated, showing inconsistencies in the parts provided to teams from NASCAR’s single source supplier, providing no competitive advantage.
We will be requesting deferral of crew chief suspension until after the appeal hearing.
— Kaulig Racing —
UPDATE: On Friday at Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR identified louvers on our race cars during a voluntary inspection 35 minutes after the opening of the garage and prior to on-track activity. NASCAR took possession of the parts approximately four hours later with no prior communication. The situation had no bearing on Saturday’s qualifying session or Sunday’s race.
We are disappointed with today’s decision by NASCAR to issue penalties and have elected to appeal based on a variety of facts that include:
• Louvers provided to teams through NASCAR’s mandated single-source supplier do not match the design submitted by the manufacturer and approved by NASCAR
• Documented inconsistent and unclear communication by the sanctioning body specifically related to louvers
• Recent comparable penalties issued by NASCAR have been related to issues discovered during a post-race inspection
For the March 19 NASCAR Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway, our organization has made the strategic decision not to request deferral of personnel suspensions. Team rosters for this weekend will be updated as soon as substitute crew chiefs are determined.
— Hendrick Motorsports —
Original post: 3-15-2023: NASCAR fined Denny Hamlin $50,000 and docked him 25 driver points on Wednesday for his intentional contact with Ross Chastain late in Sunday’s Cup Series race at Phoenix.
The section of the NASCAR Rule Book specifically mentioned in the penalty was Sections 4.4: NASCAR Member Code of Conduct. Within that section, these items were detailed: B. Attempting to manipulate the outcome of the race or championship and wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from competition as a result. D. Actions NASCAR finds to be detrimental to stock racing or NASCAR.
– In other penalties announced Wednesday, NASCAR hit each of Hendrick Motorsports’ four Cup Series teams and the No. 31 team of Kaulig Racing with L2-level infractions for unapproved modifications to parts. The Nos. 5, 9, 24, 31 and 48 teams all lost 100 team and driver points (with the exception of the No. 9, which did not lose driver points) and 10 playoff points. The crew chiefs for each team were suspended for four races and fined $100,000.
– The No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford driven by Aric Almirola also got hit with a safety violation for the loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle (Sections 184.108.40.206 A&C). Crew members Ryan Mulder and Sean Cotten were suspended for two races.
— NASCAR.com —Penalty sheet_2023_updated_03_15_23_Final