NASCAR penalizes two Cup Series teams for lost wheels, releases statement on wheels

NASCAR penalized two Cup Series teams on Wednesday for losing wheels from their race cars during Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The teams penalized were the No. 31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet, driven by Justin Haley, and the No. 50 The Money Team Racing Chevrolet, driven by Kaz Grala.

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As a result of the safety violations by both teams, there were several suspensions announced. For the No. 31 team, crew chief Trent Owens and crew members Jacob Nelson (front changer) and Marshall McFadden (jackman) will miss the next four championship points events. And for the No. 50 team, crew chief Tony Eury Jr. and crew members Chris Zima (jackman) and Aaron Powell (rear changer) will miss the next four championship events.

NASCAR, which did not issue further penalties to Team Penske and RFK Racing after confiscating wheels from both teams at Daytona, also released a statement in regards to a wheel specification change for Fontana.

The statement read: “NASCAR met with Next Gen suppliers and several race teams this week to discuss wheel specifications. Following that discussion, NASCAR made small adjustments to increase the upper tolerance on pin and pilot bores for Fontana. NASCAR will reevaluate with suppliers and race teams and determine a path forward following this weekend’s race.”

The penalties to the cars that lost wheels were referenced under Sections 10.5.2.6 of the NASCAR Rule Book: Loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle with the note: Loss of tire/wheel during the event.

Grala went on to finish in 26th place in the Daytona 500, while Haley finished 23rd. The Cup Series is back on track this weekend at Auto Club Speedway for Sunday’s Wise Power 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).