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Hamlin’s No. 11 car to R&D for further evaluation

July 27, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

No. 11 car could have possible issues with firewall block-off plates

RELATED: Race results

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – NASCAR officials will take a closer look at the No. 11 Toyota of third-place finisher Denny Hamlin following Sunday's Crown Royal presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

According to NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp, there were "possible issues with several rear firewall block-off plates" on the Joe Gibbs Racing entry.

According to the NASCAR rule book (20-3.4.5) 

"Block-off plates/covers used in rear firewalls in place of blowers, oil coolers, etc., must be constructed of 22 gage (0.031 inch thick) magnetic sheet steel. Block-off plates/covers must be installed with positive fasteners and sealed to prevent air leakage. Carbon fiber or aluminum block-off plates/covers will not be permitted."

If the block-off plates became detatched during the race, it could allow air to flow from inside the car and potentially create more downforce.

NASCAR will conduct an examination of the plates at the sanctioning body’s Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina for further evaluation and to determine what, if any penalties are forthcoming.

Tharp said there were no at-track issues with the winning entry of Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports) or the second-place entry of Kyle Busch. Those cars will also be taken to the R&D center for final inspection.

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