Tuesday, June 6, 2023

NASCAR Issues L1 Penalty to No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Team Post-Martinsville

Austin Dillon penalty Richard Childress Racing penalty NASCAR penalty 2023 Martinsville
NASCAR has issued an L1 penalty to the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team following the NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway. Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy / TobyChristie.com

UPDATE #1: Wednesday, April 19th at 4:23 PM ET

Richard Childress Racing announced its intent to appeal the L1 penalties set forth by NASCAR following further inspection of the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the NASCAR R&D Center after Sunday’s NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway.

The statement from Richard Childress Racing read, “We are disappointed in the penalty that NASCAR issued to Richard Childress Racing following the recent NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, and plan to go through the appeal process.”

Due to a rule change from NASCAR in April, RCR will no longer be able to get the full point penalty rescinded, unless it can prove to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel that it did not violate the sections of the NASCAR rule book that NASCAR claims the team violated.

NASCAR took away the ability of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to completely remove any element from a sanctioned penalty if the Panel concludes that the team in question did in fact break the rules.

The rulebook change was the result of Hendrick Motorsports having its 100-point penalties for all four of its cars having illegal hood louvers at Phoenix Raceway rescinded, despite the Appeals Panel ruling that the team had broken the rules.

ORIGINAL STORY: Wednesday, April 19th at 1:05 PM ET

NASCAR issued its weekly post-event penalty report, and in the report was an L1 penalty for the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team. The penalty stemmed from an additional inspection of the team’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the NASCAR R&D Center following Sunday’s NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway.

According to the NASCAR penalty report, the No. 3 team was found to be in violation of Sections 14.1 C&E&Q, which pertains to the Overall Assembled Vehicle Rules; and 14.6.1 A&B, which pertains to the Underwing Assembly Mounting & Underwing Stray Assembly Hardware.

The penalty issued by NASCAR is a 60-point deduction for the No. 3 RCR team in the NASCAR Cup Series owner standings as well as a 60-point deduction for driver Austin Dillon in the driver championship standings. Additionally, both Dillon and the team will be docked 5 Playoff Points.

Crew chief Keith Rodden will also be fined $75,000 for the infraction and will serve a two-race suspension.

With the point penalty, Dillon will drop from 21st in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings to 28th. The No. 3 team will slide from 22nd in the Owner Standings to 29th.

Dillon, who exited Martinsville 24 points from the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs cutline, now sits 84 points behind.

Other Post-Martinsville Penalties

Live Fast Motorsports penalty Martinsville wheel flying off
The No. 78 team will be without two of it’s starting pit crew members for the next two NASCAR Cup Series events due to a wheel separating from the car during Sunday’s race at Martinsville. Photo Credit: Christopher Fisher / TobyChristie.com

In addition to the penalties for the No. 3 NASCAR Cup Series team, NASCAR also issued an expected penalty to the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports team for a wheel separating from its Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 during Sunday’s NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway.

As a result, the team will be without pit crew members Chris Jackson and David Smith for the next two NASCAR Cup Series championship events.

In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, three teams were hit with fines for an unsecured lug nut at the end of Saturday’s Call811.com Before You Dig 250 at Martinsville.

The No. 8 JR Motorsports crew chief Mike Bumgarner, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Jeff Meendering and the No. 39 RSS Racing crew chief Mike Scearce have all been fined $5,000 each for those infractions.

One last penalty issued was to Noel Merrill, who violated Sections 4.1 & 10.1.A of the NASCAR rule book, which pertains to the Substance Abuse Policy. As a result, Merrill has been suspended indefinitely.

Toby Christie
Toby Christiehttp://tobychristie.com
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of TobyChristie.com. Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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