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'Oversight' leads to Gibbs-Busch team penalty

May 14, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

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Excess body filler on No. 54 Toyota draws fine, probation

NASCAR issued penalties Tuesday to the most recent Nationwide Series winning team, handing down a fine and probation to the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing operation for a bodywork violation at Darlington Raceway.

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Crew chief Adam Stevens was fined $10,000 and placed on probation until the end of the year. Stevens has helped guide driver Kyle Busch to five Nationwide wins this year, including a romp in last Friday night's VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200.

Car chief Christopher Landis was also put on probation until Dec. 31.

The infractions stemmed from the amount of body filler on the nose of the No. 54 Toyota; officials found the modification in opening day inspection May 9 at the 1.366-mile track.

"I think the NASCAR officials actually helped us this weekend by making us change the nose," Busch said Friday after leading 107 of 147 laps in his 56th career Nationwide victory. "They put the downforce back in it. These guys were trying to slick it up too much. I don't know. No, that wasn't it.

"We had too much Bondo in an area to cover up the seam … between the two halves of the nose. They just didn't like the amount of Bondo we had on it, so it was almost a disadvantage where it was. They made us change it. No big deal."

Said Stevens: "It was just an oversight from the shop. We had a little bit of damage on this car when we raced it at Fontana (Calif.). It's just typical race repair and the area in question just had a spot of Bondo on it. We just didn't do a good enough job checking the templates like we always do, and that's shame on us."

The series' next race is scheduled May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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