NASCAR officials met with media members Saturday morning to display and explain the specific modified part that led to the L1-level penalty issued to the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team, following the April 16 race at Martinsville Speedway.
Brad Moran, managing director of the NASCAR Cup Series, and Carl Goodman, who manages and oversees technical inspection for the series, brought the piece to Kansas Speedway to further explain what went wrong, leading to a 60-point penalty against the No. 3 team and its driver Austin Dillon, in addition to the $75,000 fine and two-week suspension issued to crew chief Keith Rodden.
The part is known as a splitter stay, one of six bars that connect the splitter to the frame of the body as part of the overall underwing. Each bar is supposed to feature three separate securing nuts — two jam nuts and a centered couple nut — that lock the splitter into place within one one-thousandth of an inch and is not adjustable after pre-race inspection.
However, on the specific bar utilized by the No. 3 team at Martinsville, those three nuts were bonded together, creating one singular piece instead – which disables the locking function of the nuts and permits further movement and adjustability either after pre-race inspection or during a pit stop.
— NASCAR.com —
NASCAR displayed the part in question from the No. 3 team's penalty post-Martinsville.
This is a splitter stay, which must stay locked in place following inspection. Here, the two jam nuts and black center coupling nut should be three separate pieces. They were bonded into one,… pic.twitter.com/E121ovNPCN
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 6, 2023