Kurt Busch, team lose 10 points in Daytona penalty
July 08, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
|Updated 2014 Sprint Cup Standings (bold equals Chase field)
|2.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||624|
|25.||Martin Truex Jr.||414|
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.