Sunday, October 1, 2023

Three Teams Lose Crew Chiefs and Others to Suspensions Following Loss of Wheels at Dover

Denny Hamlin’s NASCAR Cup Series team was one of three NASCAR National Series teams hit hard by penalties for dislodged wheels at Dover. Screengrab from FS1 broadcast.

It was a painful Tuesday for three NASCAR teams, two in the NASCAR Cup Series and one in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, for wheels that broke free from their cars during competition this weekend at Dover Motor Speedway.

On the NASCAR Cup Series side, the highest profile penalty comes to the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team. After Denny Hamlin won Stage 1 of Monday’s rain delayed race, the team did not properly secure the left front tire on the No. 11 car on a pit stop.

Video: After Winning Stage One, Denny Hamlin Loses Left Front Wheel on Pit Road

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As Hamlin accelerated down pit road, the left front tire broke free. As a result, Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart, and tire changer and jackman Derrell Edwards and Blake Houston have all been suspended from the next four NASCAR Cup Series events.

Additionally, the No. 16 Kaulig Racing NASCAR Cup Series team lost a wheel during Monday’s race as well. As a result, crew chief Matt Swiderski, and crew members Keiston France and Jonathan Willard have been suspended for the next four NASCAR Cup Series events.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the No. 1 JR Motorsports team lost a wheel after Sam Mayer had won the opening Stage of Saturday’s race. As a result of the wheel that fell off, Crew Chief Taylor Moyer and crew members Orane Ossowski and Markus Pierce-Brewster have been suspended for the next four NASCAR Xfinity Series events.

Ossowski and Pierce-Brewster serve as crew members in the NASCAR Cup Series, as well. This will not impact their NCS status.

Additionally, the No. 16 Kaulig Racing NASCAR Xfinity Series team was also found to have an improperly secured lug nut at the end of Saturday’s race. As a result, crew chief Bruce Schlicker has been fined $5,000 by NASCAR.

One final penalty announced was the indefinite suspension of Jason Houghtaling, a veteran crew chief in the sport. Houghtaling was suspended due to a violation of section 4.4.e of the NASCAR rulebook, meaning it was a behavioral violation.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is an award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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  1. Nascar administration needs to learn that they have failed with this tire/wheel. EVERY race this occurs. It has to be the equipment they have demanded the crews use. These teams are NOT trying to shave off seconds from a timed pit stop! It is Nascar’s ridiculous requirements and penalties that make bullies out of all of them. It’s stupid, what they are doing. Work all those years to bring the sport up to a level of tech and science that actually gains some respect from the Sports Community and then they do this. Did we bring Brian France back when I wasn’t looking? EVEN HE wouldn’t be this stupid/cruel/overbearing/pedantic demigod. I’ m tired of hearing about the crew chiefs and tire guys getting suspended on the dread “punishment” day after each race. Let’s put up a brick wall for the folks to run square into it with their heads down until they have nothing left. It’s only fair. Dang, I’m in a bad mood

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