While Tony Stewart may have won the Coke Zero 400 presented by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, it was his qualifying efforts that had NASCAR officials issuing a penalty. Stewart, who originally qualified second for the race, had his time disallowed because of an illegal air duct inside the car. Stewart would end up starting the race in 42nd position.
On Tuesday afternoon, NASCAR would hand down penalties for Stewart, Steve Addington, the crew chief, and car owner, Margaret Haas. The No. 14 was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book); and 20-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on probation until August 22nd, car chief Jeff Meendering has been placed on probation until August 22nd. Tony Stewart and Margaret Haas both have been penalized six championship driver and owner points, respectively.
With the loss of six points, Stewart is now 90 back from Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings. Have no fear though Stewart fans, he will still be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Also being getting served with penalties on Tuesday were two NASCAR Nationwide Teams, the No. 3 of Richard Childress Racing driven by Austin Dillon and the No. 18 of Joe Gibbs Racing driven by Joey Logano.
Austin Dillon, who qualified for the pole for Friday night’s Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway, failed post qualifying inspection due to an illegal open cooling hose was discovered under the cockpit of the car.
The No. 3 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20A-2.1J (unapproved open vent hose inside of the car). The penalties included a $10,000 fine and suspension of Danny Stockman, Dillon’s crew chief. Stockman was suspended until July 25th due to this being a violation of his probation, which was given on May 1st after Richmond. Car chief Robert Strmiska was also suspended until July 25th for the same reasons as Stockman. Austin Dillon and Morgan Shepherd, the car owner, have been penalized six championship points in the driver and owner standings, respectively.
I am shocked the suspension isn’t longer since Dillon was just penalized last weekend at Kentucky Speedway when his No. 3 was found to be too low in post race inspection. Dillon is now 8 points behind Elliott Sadler in the NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings.
Also getting penalized after Daytona was Joey Logano and his No. 18 Nationwide team. The No. 18 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J; and 20A-12.8.1(B) (car failed to meet minimum front car heights). This violation occurred during post-race inspection July 6.