Analysis: How post-Dover penalties most impact every team

first_imgThe penalty report NASCAR issued Wednesday has season-long implications for multiple teams in NASCAR’s top two national series.Five L1-level penalties were handed out, each carrying fines, suspensions and points deductions.RELATED: More on Monster Energy Series penaltiesIn the Monster Energy Series, it was the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 team, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 team and Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 team penalized. The No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team also was issued an L1-level penalty in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, along with the race-winning JR Motorsports No. 7 team.Here’s how we see the penalties affecting those teams – and the teams’ drivers – moving forward.Note: Teams have the ability to appeal their respective penalties to the National Motorsports Appeals Panel. Filing an appeal would halt any suspensions until the appeal is heard.MONSTER ENERGY SERIESNo. 3 teamDriver: Austin DillonPenalty: Splitter did not meet rule specificationsRamifications: $25,000 fine to crew chief Justin Alexander; car chief Greg Ebert suspended for one race.Analysis: Dillon is locked into the postseason by virtue of his season-opening win in the Daytona 500, but his team has slipped in recent weeks. With two consecutive finishes outside the top 25, and four such finishes in the past six races, the suspension hurts this team more than the fine as the car chief is instrumental in getting cars faster at the track. Crew chief Justin Alexander avoided suspension, which is critical. It was his pit strategy that led to last year’s Coca-Cola 600 win, and that marquee event looms in two weeks – with Alexander still on the pit box.No. 14 teamDriver: Clint BowyerPenalty: Failed rear window support structureRamifications: $50,000 fine to crew chief Mike Bugarewicz; two-race suspension for car chief Jerry Cook; loss of 20 driver and 20 owner pointsAnalysis: The points penalty hurts. Bowyer, with a win in hand, entered the week fourth in the standings; he will drop to fifth. Remember, drivers get playoff points for finishing in the top 10 of the regular-season standings — including 15 for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Champion. Bowyer’s path to those points now is more difficult.No. 19 teamDriver: Daniel SuarezPenalty: Rear window not flush to decklidRamifications: $50,000 fine to crew chief Scott Graves; two-race suspension for car chief Todd Brewer; loss of 20 driver and 20 owner pointsAnalysis: This is a blow to one of the hottest teams in the garage. Suarez finished third at Dover, matching his career-best result at NASCAR’s top level. The second-year driver has three consecutive top-10 finishes heading into Kansas, one of his better tracks. Is his momentum halted? We’ll find out Saturday night. Additionally, the points penalty is a bigger setback for Suarez than perhaps any other driver. He drops from just seven points behind Chase Elliott for the final playoff spot to 27 points behind.RELATED: More on Xfinity Series penaltiesXFINITY SERIESNo. 3 teamDriver: Jeb BurtonPenalty: Splitter did not meet rule specificationsRamifications: $10,000 fine to crew chief Nick Harrison; one-race suspension for car chief Michael ScearceAnalysis: A tough blow for Burton, who has two starts this year. The biggest issue here, though, is that Richard Childress Racing was given an L1-level penalty in both the Monster Energy Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the same violation.No. 7 teamDriver: Justin AllgaierPenalty: Rear suspension and trailing arm angles/pinion angle shims violationRamifications: $25,000 fine and two-race suspension to crew chief Jason Burdett; loss of 25 driver and 25 owner pointsAnalysis: This is a huge impact. Wins can be difficult to come by in the Xfinity Series (five full-time drivers won last year, for example), and the five playoff points that come with a win are simply crucial to getting to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Those points no longer count for Allgaier. The pressure for another win is on.last_img read more