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Kurt Busch, team lose 10 points in Daytona penalty

July 08, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

NASCAR officials also fine Knost, crew chief of Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 41

RELATED: Official NASCAR release | Updated Sprint Cup standings

NASCAR issued penalties Tuesday to the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 team for driver Kurt Busch after a technical infraction discovered after last Sunday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Updated 2014 Sprint Cup Standings (bold equals Chase field)
Rk. Driver Points
1. Jeff Gordon 651
2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 624
3. Jimmie Johnson 596
4. Brad Keselowski 586
5. Matt Kenseth 580
6. Joey Logano 546
7. Carl Edwards 543
8. Ryan Newman 534
9. Kyle Busch 524
10. Paul Menard 516
11. Kevin Harvick 514
12. Clint Bowyer 509
13. Austin Dillon 494
14. Denny Hamlin 493
15. Greg Biffle 490
16. Brian Vickers 484
17. Kyle Larson 482
18. Kasey Kahne 482
19. Marcos Ambrose 472
20. Tony Stewart 465
21. Aric Almirola 452
22. Jamie McMurray 447
23. Casey Mears 438
24. AJ Allmendinger 414
25. Martin Truex Jr. 414
26. Kurt Busch 412

NASCAR stripped the team of 10 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner championship standings and docked Busch 10 points in the season-long driver standings. Officials also fined crew chief Daniel Knost $10,000.

Busch drove the No. 41 Chevrolet to a third-place finish in the rain-shortened event, moving him up two spots in the Sprint Cup driver standings to a rank of 24th. Tuesday's penalty, however, sends Busch back two spots to his original rank in standings.

A NASCAR spokesperson did not announce any penalty after a routine post-race inspection Sunday, but said the potential track bar issue would undergo further inspection at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.

The track bar -- also called the panhard bar -- is a hollow steel tube that is a common point where teams adjust the car's chassis during the race. The track bar's mounting position can be raised or lowered to alter the car's handling characteristics.

According to a NASCAR official release, the Delta (or difference) of the Z-height measurement between the center of the panhard bar mounting bolt located at the left truck trailing arm and the center of the panhard bar mounting bolt, located at the right rear sub-frame mounting bracket, exceeded the maximum of three inches, which is required for all events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

The infraction falls under the heading of a P2-level penalty according to the 2014 NASCAR rule book. The team was also sanctioned for violating Section 12-1 -- "actions detrimental to stock car racing."

The third-place effort marked Busch's fourth top-five finish in the first half of the Sprint Cup season. Busch prevailed earlier in the year at Martinsville Speedway, all but clinching him a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Busch's postseason berth, though, is dependent on him finishing among the top 30 in the Sprint Cup driver standings.

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