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How Hamlin's penalty stacks up historically

July 29, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

How Hamlin's penalty stacks up historically
Compare the No. 11 penalty with the biggest penalties in Sprint Cup Series' history

RELATED: Hamlin, JGR hit with big penalties | Official NASCAR release | Crew chief analysis | JGR to appeal

After NASCAR officials discovered a "possible issue with several rear firewall block-off plates" at Indianapolis on Denny Hamlin's No. 11 car (which finished in third), several penalties were handed down to Hamlin, his Joe Gibbs Racing team, his crew chief, Darian Grubb and his car chief, Wesley Sherrill.

Hamlin was docked 75 points in the drivers' standings and 75 points in the series' owners championship standings. In addition, Grubb was suspended for the next six Sprint Cup Series events and fined $125,000. Sherrill was also issued a six-race suspension. Both Grubb and Sherill will be on NASCAR probation for the next six months.

Here is a list of the toughest penalties NASCAR has handed out in the Sprint Cup Series. As you will see, this penalty is one of the most severe handed out by NASCAR in recent history.

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Michael Waltrip Racing | Richmond International Raceway, September 2013

Violation: Section 12-4: Actions detrimental to stock car racing.

Penalty: MWR's three teams in the Sprint Cup Series (the No. 15, 55, 56) were penalized with the loss of 50 championship driver and 50 championship owner points, respectively.* These point penalties were assessed following the season's 26th regular-season race and not after the seeding for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. That resulted in Martin Truex Jr. being eliminated from the second Wild Card spot in the playoff field. NASCAR also fined the MWR organization $300,000 and indefinitely suspended Ty Norris, MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager and spotter for the No. 55 car, for violating Section 12-4. The three crew chiefs -- Brian Pattie (No. 15), Scott Miller (No. 55) and Chad Johnston (No. 56) -- were all placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Denny Hamlin, No. 11 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 2014

Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 20-2.1: Car body must be acceptable to NASCAR officials and meet the following requirements:
• K – Any device or ductwork that permits air to pass from one area of the interior of the car to another, or to the outside of the car, will not be permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, the inside of the car to the trunk area, or the floors, firewalls, crush panels and wheel wells passing air into or out of the car;
•  L – All seams of the interior sheet metal and all interior sheet metal to exterior sheet metal contact point must be sealed and caulked. This includes, but is not limited to, floors, firewalls, wheel wells, package trays, crush panels and any removable covers;
Section 20-3.4: All references to the inspection surface in sub-section 20-3.4 have been determined with the front lower edge of both main frame rails set at six inches and the rear lower edge of both main frame rails set at eight inches. For driver protection, all firewalls, floors, tunnels, and access panels must be installed and completely secured in place when the car is in competition;
Section 20-3.4.5: A rear firewall, including any removable panels or access doors, constructed using magnetic sheet steel a minimum of 22 gage (0.031 inch thick), must be located between the trunk area and the driver’s compartment and must be welded in place. 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.

Penalty: Loss of 75 Cup Driver Points*

Carl Long, No. 146 | Lowe’s Motor Speedway, May 2009

Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4-I: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules: Section 20-5.4A: Engine exceeded the maximum engine size of 358.000 cubic inch displacement.

Penalty: Loss of 200 Cup Driver Points.

Matt Kenseth, No. 20 | Kansas Speedway, April 2013

Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to the NASCAR Rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the Event. Section 20-5.5.3E.: Only solid magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight.

Penalty: Loss of 50 Cup Driver Points.*

 

Jeremy Mayfield, No. 12 | Talladega Superspeedway, April 2000

Violation: Section 12-4-A: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 8-8: Fuel used by a Competitor that does not meet NASCAR specifications. Section 12-4-AA: Use of altered fuel or fuel other than the official fuel at the Event.

Penalty: Loss of 151 Cup Driver points.

 

Johnny Sauter, No. 70 | Lowe’s Motor Speedway, May 2008

Violation: Section 20-3.1.3A: Wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.

Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points.

Appealed: NASCAR Penalty upheld.

 

Scott Riggs, No. 66 | Lowe’s Motor Speedway, May 2008

Violation: Section 20-3.1.3A: Wing mounting locations were not as specified by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book.

Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Owner points.

Appealed: NASCAR Penalty upheld.

 

Brian Vickers, No. 83 | Martinsville Speedway, October 2008

Violation: Section 12-4-Q: Section 20-2.1D: Exterior sheet metal body parts did not meet the specified minimum thickness.

Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points.

 

Martin Truex Jr., No. 1 | Daytona International Speedway, July 2008

Violation: Section 12-4-Q: Section 20-3.8A: Roof of the car does not conform to the specifications of the NASCAR Rule Book.

Penalty: Loss of 150 Cup Driver points.

 

Travis Kvapil, No. 43 | Pocono Raceway, June 2010

Violation: Section 12-1: Section 12-4-J: Section 20-10.7J: Unapproved modification to valve stem hardware.

Penalty: 150 Cup Driver Points

 

Clint Bowyer, No. 15 | September 2010, New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Violation: Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Section 12-4-J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR Rules: Section 20-3: The car body location specifications in reference to the certified chassis, does not meet the NASCAR-approved specifications.

Penalty: 150 Cup Driver Points

*These penalties are ranked according to their severity in proportion to the points system used at that time. NASCAR moved to a one-point-per-position format in 2011.