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March 14, 2018

No. 9 Monster Energy Series team penalized post-Phoenix

The No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series received an L1-level penalty for a rear suspension violation following last weekend’s race at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, NASCAR announced Wednesday evening.

Per the NASCAR penalty report, the No. 9 team was found to have violated Section 20.14.2 of the Rule Book, which deals with rear suspension and trailing arm angles/pinion angle shims. According to the penalty report: Truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim surfaces must be in complete contact at all points, at all times. Failure to adhere to that can create additional sideforce and is a violation.

The team has been penalized 25 driver points and 25 owner points. Crew chief Alan Gustafson has been fined $50,000. Car chief Josh Kirk has been suspended for two races.

Chase Elliott drove the No. 9 Chevrolet to a third-place finish in the TicketGuardian 500, won by Kevin Harvick. The No. 9 team has the option of filling an appeal to The National Motorsports Appeals Panel.

RELATED: Full race results

In other penalty news, seven teams were cited for having one lug nut not secure in post-race inspection, including five teams in the Monster Energy Series.

The Monster Energy Series teams were the Nos. 11 (fourth place in Phoenix), 12 (16th), 17 (23rd), 22 (19th) and 78 (fifth place). The respective crew chiefs of those teams — Mike Wheeler, Jeremy Bullins, Brian Pattie, Todd Gordon and Cole Pearn — were each fined $10,000.

In the Xfinity Series, the Nos. 22 (first place) and 18 (third place) each had one lug nut not secure in post-race inspection. The respective crew chiefs — Brian Wilson and Eric Phillips — were each fined $5,000.

In addition, Brandon J. Lee and Wayne F. Kanter committed behavioral penalties and have been indefinitely suspended.