UPDATE: While it was originally believed the JTG Daugherty Racing cars would totally forfeit their starting positions, NASCAR has stated that Stenhouse and Preece will still be officially credited for starting 10th and 20th, but will drop to the rear of the field for the start of Sunday’s race.
JTG Daugherty Racing has been off to a great start in 2020. But things hit a snag Sunday morning before the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
Both the No. 37 car (driven by Ryan Preece) and the No. 47 car (driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) were found to have illegal modifications to the front ends of their race cars, in an effort to change the airflow over the front-end of their race cars.
These alterations were found Saturday in Post-Qualifying inspection.
Sunday, NASCAR issued an L1 penalty to both teams.
Both team’s crew chiefs have been ejected from the track. Trent Owens is the crew chief for the No. 37 team and Brian Pattie is the crew chief for the No. 47 team.
Also, both teams will be docked 10 driver and 10 owner points for the infraction.
The point penalty will send Stenhouse from fifth in the championship standings to 12th.
Preece, who had nine points, now enters Sunday with negative one point on the year. Preece goes from 32nd in the standings to 44th.
Preece, who qualified 20th, and Stenhouse, who was supposed to start 10th, will also forfeit their starting positions and have to come from the rear of Sunday’s field.
The team released a statement on Sunday, that they don’t plan to appeal the penalties.
“We are aware of the penalties handed down by NASCAR this morning at Auto Club Speedway,” said car owner Tad Geschickter. “Brian Burns will be the crew chief for Ryan Preece and the No. 37 team, and Eddie Pardue will be the crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 47 team. We have no plans to appeal the penalty at this time.”
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