NASCAR penalizes A.J. Allmendinger, crew chief for lug nut violation

USA TODAY - Crew chief Randall Burnett has been suspended for three races and fined $65,000 by NASCAR for a lug nut violation on A.J. Allmendinger’s No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Chevrolet.

In addition, Allmendinger’s team has been assessed 35-point driver and owner penalties.

Allmendinger’s 26th-place car was found to have three loose lug nuts in a post-race inspection Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Considered a high-level safety violation, either through carelessness or a subversion of rules for quicker pit stops, the infraction has been heavily scrutinized by NASCAR in the past few seasons. The penalty structure for the infraction was adjusted last year, allowing for a $10,000 fine for one loose lug nut, and a crew chief suspension and $20,000 fine for two.

Allmendinger will plummet from 11th to 35th in the driver standings.

In the Xfinity Series, crew chief Scott Graves has been fined $10,000 and suspended from the next race after Kyle Busch’s race-winning No. 18 Toyota violated post-race height requirements. Joe Gibbs Racing will lose 10 owner points.

Busch’s car was found to be too low in the front right and left Saturday after he won the race. However, his victory will stand.

The car is a full-time entry in NASCAR’s top developmental series but has various drivers. Busch is scheduled to drive it this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. As a Cup regular, Busch will not be impacted by the penalty because he is not eligible for the Xfinity title, but the result will prevent JGR from automatically qualifying the car for the playoffs or using the five points awarded for the win in the postseason.

Copyright 2017 USA TODAY


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