DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kyle Larson was already in a must-win situation heading into this weekend’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, but now he’s in an even deeper hole.
Larson and the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team were hit with an L1-level by NASCAR on Wednesday afternoon for a violation of section 10.9.9.d of the NASCAR Rule Book, which pertains to the Damaged Vehicle Policy and mechanical repairs to a race car.
That portion of the rule book notes that no matter how damage is received, the race team can only reattach original body parts of the car with fasteners and/or tape.
The No. 42 team reattached parts via metal tabs following a blown tire and subsequent crash during Sunday’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
As a result of the penalty, Larson has been docked 10 championship driver points, while team owner Chip Ganassi has lost 10 championship owner points. In addition, crew chief Chad Johnston was slapped with a $25,000 fine for the violation and car chief David Bryant has been suspended for Sunday’s event at Kansas Speedway.
The penalty dropped Larson from 26 points below the cutoff line to advance to the next round to 36 markers adrift, virtually meaning that the only hope the Elk Grove, Calif., native has of making the round of eight is to visit victory lane this coming Sunday.
Larson has never won at Kansas, but he does have two top-five and three top-10 finishes at the 1.5-mile oval, including top 10s in two of his last three appearances there.
He finished fourth there in May after starting from the rear due to an unapproved tire change, charging forward to win the second stage and leading a race-high 101 laps.
In addition to Larson, the race-winning No. 10 Ford Fusion team of Aric Almirola was penalized for having one lug nut that was not properly installed during post-race inspection.
Crew chief John Klausmeier was fined $10,000 for that infraction.
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, three teams received L1-level penalties for issues found during pre-race inspection.
All three teams – the No. 02 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet, the No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet and the No. 52 Halmar Friesen Racing Chevrolet – violated Section 20.4 of the NASCAR Rule Book, which deals with the interior of the race vehicle.
Specifically noted in the rule book is the point that air is not permitted to pass from one area of the interior of the vehicle to another, as well as to the outside of the vehicle.
The three respective crew chiefs – Chad Kendrick, Joe Shear Jr. and Graham Bruce – were each fined $5,000.