When NASCAR instituted limits on wind tunnel testing time on teams, the question was: How would the rule be enforced? And if it was able to be enforced, who would be the first to be punished for exceeding the allotted time in a wind tunnel.
On Thursday, Hendrick Motorsports became the first team to be slapped with an L2-level penalty by NASCAR for surpassing the 70 hours allowed during 2020 in the wind tunnel, according to NASCAR.com.
The infraction is a violation of Section 5.3.3 in the NASCAR Rule book.
According to the report on NASCAR.com, Hendrick Motorsports eclipsed their allotment by less than one hour and the team owned up to the mistake as they informed NASCAR of the infraction.
The penalties levied at HMS are large. The team will lose $100,000 and they will also lose 10 hours of their allotted wind tunnel time from 2021. The maximum amount of hours allotted for teams in the wind tunnel for the 2021 season according to the NASCAR Rule Book equates to 90 hours, which means HMS will only be allotted 80 hours in 2021 per the penalty.
Hendrick Motorsports fields Chevrolet Camaros for Alex Bowman (No. 88), William Byron (No. 24), Chase Elliott (No. 9) and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48).
Three of the four HMS teams made the Playoffs in 2020 with Byron being knocked out of the Playoffs in the Round of 16.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.