Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

No. 12 Cup Series team penalized pre-race at Darlington; Blaney to start from rear

NASCAR issued a pre-race penalty to the No. 12 Team Penske Ford team Sunday at Darlington Raceway after pre-race inspection uncovered improperly mounted ballast.

Ryan Blaney, who entered the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs ranked seventh in the standings, will start Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 from the rear. He was slated to start the race seventh.

In addition, the team has been docked 10 driver and owner points, and crew chief Todd Gordon has been ejected. The point penalty moves Blaney one spot below the cutoff line as the three-race Round of 16 begins.

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A Team Penske statement reads: “Team Penske’s No. 12 Ford Mustang was penalized for improperly mounted ballast during inspection this afternoon prior to the NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington. A 5 pound bag of lead that is typically used during setup at the shop to simulate fluid weights prior to the race engine being installed was accidentally left in the car. The team accepts the penalty and Travis Geisler will serve as the crew chief for the No. 12 team this evening.”

A full penalty report will be issued early next week.