Unsecured ballast (lead weight) that becomes detached from a race car as well as the loss of a wheel or wheels due to improper installation will now result in a mandatory minimum four-race suspension for specific team personnel, according to a bulletin issued Wednesday by the sanctioning body. The infractions are P3 level penalties under the 2015 NASCAR Deterrence Policy. Previously the length of suspension was not specified, but listed as "for one or more races." According to the bulletin, the loss of a wheel or wheels due to improper installation would result in a minimum four-race suspension for the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier of the lost wheel or wheels. For the loss or separation of ballast weight, the crew chief, car chief and head engineer would receive four-race suspensions. Disciplinary action for P3 penalties may also include: • Loss of 15 championship owner and driver points and/or • A monetary fine (varies depending on series) and/ro • Probation until the end of the calendar year for the crew chief and/or any other team members (as determined by NASCAR) or six months if the period following the notice of the penalty spans across two seasons. Because of the danger created by the loss of ballast or a wheel, NASCAR considers the violation a safety issue. The four-race mandatory suspension is for a first offense. At least two incidents of unsecured ballast have occurred this season, most notably at Iowa Speedway in May when XFINITY Series driver Jamie Dick was struck in the helmet by a weight that fell off the entry being driven by Ross Chastain . Dick was not injured. The No. 97 entry with XFINITY Series driver Peyton Sellers was also penalized this year for an improperly attached weight that fell out of Seller’s car at Dover International Speedway in May.
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Roush teammates move past Monster Mile incident, look towards Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace Jr ., teammates-turned-rivals two weeks ago, said Friday they've put their Dover differences behind them, turning their focus toward an all-important track for their Roush Fenway Racing organization. Buescher enters Saturday's Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) at Michigan International Speedway as the NASCAR XFINITY Series points leader. Wallace, in his first year driving for Roush Fenway, ranks 49 points behind his teammate in fifth place. Their proximity in the standings aside, the two teammates were not exactly chummy after clanging fenders in the latter stages of the series' most recent race at Dover International Speedway . Buescher drove away to his second victory of the season while Wallace faded with a flat tire. The run-in made the Roush Fenway camp's Monday morning meeting after Dover an awkward one, but two weeks later, the waters appear to have smoothed. "It was hard racing is what it comes down to," Buescher told NASCAR.com before Friday's rain-delayed XFINITY practice on the 2-mile track. "We've had a talk about it and obviously it was not an ideal situation and we don't ever want to be in the same situation again. We've talked and we're going to put it behind us. We're going to go into Michigan and treat it as another race where we need to go be teammates again and go perform at our highest level. And we'll be OK. We've talked about it a little bit, and it's just a racing deal, you know? You'll go through that sometimes." Wallace's easy-going Friday demeanor was in direct contrast to his dismay after the checkered flag at Dover . After joking about how "interesting" the Monday meeting was, Wallace said the team was ready to move forward. " Dover's definitely behind us," Wallace said. "We didn't see eye-to-eye in that meeting. We still know we've got to be smart, but I told them they've got a lot more to lose than me." Both Roush Fenway drivers may be feeling more burden to perform this weekend at Michigan, a longtime stronghold for team owner Jack Roush. The premium on running well in the showcase event for manufacturers Ford and Chevrolet is a tall order, a team edict that places a little more pressure on Saturday's 250-miler. "Every time we talk about Michigan, this exact subject comes up," Buescher said. "It's Jack's home track, it's Ford's home track -- we're expected to come here and perform at our highest level. This is one that, it's a tough race to win. It's a lot of momentum, it's a lot of drafting, which has been difficult for me to get a hold of at a place like this. We try really hard to make sure we bring the best stuff possible here and get the win. "There is pressure here. We keep it circled. We know that we need to come and win this race, not only for Jack but for Ford and for our race team." Wallace said he participated in a private fantasy league among family members growing up, making sure to stock his lineup with heavily favored Roush drivers for each Michigan race. While Roush Fenway's XFINITY efforts -- with three drivers in the top eight in standings -- may be outpacing their Sprint Cup Series brethren (no drivers better than 18th), Wallace suggests that side of the operation may be ready to turn the corner. "We've actually found speed fairly quick," Wallace said of his XFINITY No. 6 team. "It's been cool to see (Greg) Biffle finish second in the 600 there, and he was strong during the All-Star Race. They continue to show speed. It's starting to improve, so it's cool to see that for the future. Hopefully we can continue to find more speed as a team overall." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jennifer Jo Cobb wrecked during Friday's final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park , and FOX's TV cameras caught her pulling a cell phone out of her mangled No. 10 Chevrolet. NASCAR hasn't allowed drivers to have cell phones in their vehicles since 2012 -- when Brad Keselowski tweeted during a red flag in the Daytona 500 . The sanctioning body typically announces penalties on Tuesday, so we could learn if Cobb will face sanctions at that time. Cobb was fined and placed on probation earlier this year when she walked onto the racing surface at Dover International Speedway following an on-track incident.
Roush Fenway Racing driver wins ARCA race as he gets more Pocono seat time RELATED: Bayne, wife expecting first child " Bayne fined after Dover LONG POND, Pa. -- Trevor Bayne said the fine NASCAR issued him was a "hard pill to swallow" but the Roush Fenway Racing driver understands the seriousness of safety. Bayne was fined $20,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 by the sanctioning body on Wednesday for exiting his car without the supervision of safety officials during last Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway . He also had been summoned to the NASCAR hauler for consultation on Sunday. "It's really tough," Bayne told NASCAR.com on Friday at Pocono Raceway , site of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "It's something they take very serious and I take very serious. Obviously, safety is a priority and I understand that. It's a hard pill to swallow as big as the fine is for what I did. My car was on fire and I got out of the race car, which you are going to have to do. I felt like I was trying to exit the racing surface to get to the ambulance. I guess I needed to wait on the ambulance to get to me. "I made a mistake and it won't happen again. It's really unfortunate. I felt like it was not an intentional thing by any means." Bayne was involved in a three-car crash with HScott Motorsports teammates Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier in the 175th lap of the race. Bayne's car skidded to a stop with severe front-end damage, he dismounted during the caution period and walked down the banked track surface in Turn 1 to the awaiting ambulance for the mandatory ride to the infield care center. NASCAR formalized the rule, which is presented as a reminder during each pre-race drivers' meeting, last August after a fatal accident involving three-time premier series champion Tony Stewart . Stewart was driving a sprint car at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park's half-mile dirt track when driver Kevin Ward Jr. exited his car after a crash and was struck and killed. The rule allows a driver to leave his or her vehicle before the arrival of safety personnel in the event of extenuating circumstances, such as fire. Bayne's infraction came two days after a similar incident involving driver Jennifer Jo Cobb , who walked onto the track surface to express displeasure with eventual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner Tyler Reddick as vehicles circled during the yellow flag. Cobb was fined $5,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31. Thursday brought better news for Bayne with the announcement that he and wife Ashton are expecting their first child. "We're really excited," Bayne said with a wide smile on his face. "Ashton and I have been looking forward to this for a long time. I feel like we had good timing here so far with it being a December baby, so we will be able to be home for the first couple of months with it and they'll travel with me. There's a lot of babies in the garage so we definitely aren't on our own in this. Just really excited about it." Kyle Busch , Brad Keselowski and Landon Cassill have all welcomed children into the fold in the past month. This weekend, Bayne will be pulling double duty at Pocono, running the Sprint Cup race on Sunday and the Pocono ARCA 200 in the ARCA Racing Series on Saturday afternoon. With no prior experience at the Tricky Triangle, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner is looking for as much seat time as possible. "I've never run anything at Pocono so that's the point just to get seat time on this racetrack to learn," Bayne said on Friday before ARCA practice. "I want to get as many laps as possible and I think that's a good way to do it. I've never been in an ARCA car before this racetrack so got to learn those as well. Feel like its going to be a lot of fun." The additional seat time was fun indeed and a success for Bayne as he scored the pole position for his first ARCA race and roared to victory. That came a day after Bayne qualified 33rd for Sunday's Sprint Cup race. Kyle Larson won the ARCA event at Pocono last year ahead of his first start at the track. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Drivers support decision to make Busch Chase eligible BUY: Rowdy Returns T-Shirt " RELATED: NASCAR grants Busch a Chase waiver NASCAR competitors testing at Dover International Speedway on Wednesday said they have no qualms with NASCAR granting fellow Kyle Busch a waiver that keeps his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup eligibility intact. "We don't have sick days in our sport," six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson said during a lunch break at the 1-mile track. "If you get injured in our industry, the repercussions are so big. "Even though he is granted a waiver, you just look at what the team has been through – a couple of different drivers trying to develop the equipment and get it going, missed opportunities to win races. It's a huge penalty to have an injury. If you can come back and win a race, you deserve to be in the Chase." Busch, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota, missed the first 11 points races after breaking his right leg and fracturing his left foot in a crash in the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway . On Wednesday, NASCAR announced its decision to allow Busch to remain eligible, as long as he is in the top 30 in championship driver points standings following the season's 26th race. Busch announced on Tuesday that he would be back in the Sprint Cup car this weekend for Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, PRN, Sirius XM NASCAR). MORE: Busch says All-Star event is 'perfect' for return Under the rules, to be eligible for the Chase drivers must attempt to complete in the 26 points races leading up to the Chase. The 16-team field is comprised of the season's winners and, if fewer than 16 drivers win at least one race, those highest in the points standings following the cutoff race. Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) said, "It's not like he chose to skip races … that's the difference. "They don't want to see someone win a race and say 'alright, I'm good, I'm going to take four or five weeks off and enjoy it and not drive a race car.' … "Kyle is getting back in the car as soon as he possibly can to try to make the Chase. I think letting him do it is fine … that's the way it should be. It's not his fault he got hurt in the first place." The possibility that Busch wins one of the remaining 15 "regular-season" races isn't far-fetched. He has 29 career victories and has won one or more races for 10 consecutive seasons. Climbing his way into the top 30 in points is another matter. Busch would likely need an average finish of at least 16th or to find himself in the top 30 after 26 races. "I don't know what he has to do to get in the top 30," Logano said. "… I think it's well deserved; he's worked hard to get back in the race car and if we race him for a championship at the end of the year, great. I'm not going to say it he shouldn't have won it or something like that. "Those are the rules that we've got … with the Chase, that you're able to recover if something like that happens." David Ragan , who filled in for Busch in nine races, said the NASCAR announcement simply provided Busch an avenue to attempt to qualify. The rest will be up to the driver and the team, led by crew chief Adam Stevens. Ragan took over the reins of the car after Daytona (two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton stepped in at DIS) while 18-year-old Erik Jones made his Sprint Cup debut last weekend at Kansas with the team. "He's just eligible, obviously," Ragan said of Busch. "He's still got to have a great season to make the Chase. He's got to win a race, which isn't easy to do, there are still a lot of good guys that haven't won a race in quite some time; he's got to score some pretty good points to get in the top 30. "I think NASCAR made the right call and Kyle should be happy with that; if he can meet that criteria and make the Chase, he deserves to be in. "If he can score those kind of points, be in the top 30 and win a race, (that's) a chase team and (he's) a Chase driver." • Johnson, Logano and Ragan were among 12 drivers taking part in the open test at Dover . Also on hand were Jamie McMurray ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Austin Dillon ( Richard Childress Racing ), Danica Patrick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Casey Mears ( Germain Racing ), Greg Biffle ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Jeb Burton ( BK Racing ), Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ) and AJ Allmendinger ( JTG Daugherty Racing ). Logano, Hamlin, Patrick and Allmendinger took part in a two-day Goodyear tire test at Dover prior to Wednesday's team test. • Johnson said while Dover and Charlotte appear vastly different, there are things his Hendrick Motorsports team could pick up during the Wednesday test that might be beneficial at CMS. "We might not be able to learn and have the speed on the track today, but we'll go home with some ideas … some things that didn't work or did work and let our group at home stew on it," he said. "It'll help actually this weekend leading into Charlotte. Charlotte and Dover , oddly enough, do have very common sensations and loads and things through the race car. So this test … comes at a good time for us and we should be able to apply things to Charlotte." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Catch up before the FedEx 400, 1 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1) What: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks . Where: Dover International Speedway , 1-mile oval in Dover , Del. When: Sunday, May 31; 1 pm ET TV/Radio: FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Distance: 400 miles Pit road speed: 35 mph Caution car speed: 45 mph Fuel window: 81 laps On the front row " Full starting lineup Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin earned his first pole position of the season and third career at Dover . The Martinsville (VA.) winner will start alongside the hometown favorite, Martin Truex Jr . It is the best start of the season for the New Jersey native Truex, who is the highest ranked driver without a win in 2015. He has good history at The Monster Mile, scoring his first career Cup victory here in 2007. Fastest in practice: Pole-winner Hamlin's No. 11 FedEx Toyota topped both of Saturday's practice sessions, turning in a best speed of 156.087 mph in final practice. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards was second fastest in each Saturday practice and JGR driver Matt Kenseth top-10 in both. Defending race winner Jimmie Johnson was fastest in Friday's practice and fifth quickest in both Saturday sessions. Last year's winner: Johnson won last year's race in relatively dominant fashion, leading a race best seven times for 272 laps. It was his second win in as many weeks and made him the all-time Dover race winner with nine victories. On the line: With nine winners in the first 12 races, the trend is for yet another to punch his ticket to the Chase. Truex has to be considered the favorite for this. He and Kevin Harvick lead the series with 11 top-10 efforts. Truex's No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy has led the most laps in the last two points-races -- at Kansas and at Charlotte. He was runner-up at Las Vegas in March and has two fifth-place showings in the last three races and qualified second. History lesson: Even with six championship trophies and 73 wins, Johnson approaches another historical milestone this week that he is especially proud of. Should he collect his 10 th Dover win on Sunday, he would be only the fifth driver in NASCAR history to record double digit wins at a track. The last to do it was Dale Earnhardt (10) at Talladega. Johnson would join the esteemed company of Richard Petty who has double-digit wins at Daytona, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Richmond, and Rockingham, and Darrell Waltrip (Bristol, Martinsville, and North Wilkesboro) and David Pearson (Darlington). A Good Start: Outside polesitter Truex can take solace in an interesting Dover statistic. The second starting position has produced more winners in this race than any other starting position. Front row drivers have won 31 percent of all the races. Nearly 80 percent of Dover race winners started from the top 10 positions on the grid. Return to Glory: Three-time Cup champ Tony Stewart 's last victory came in this race two years ago. Smoke has a good record at The Monster Mile with three wins and 17 top-10s in 31 starts. And, although his No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevy will be starting from the 26 th position, Stewart holds a distinguished mark. Only five times in 90 Dover Cup races has the winner started from outside the top-20. Stewart was the last to do it – winning from 22 nd place on the grid. Kyle Petty won the 1995 spring Dover race starting 37 th . They said it: " It's hard to say one aspect that I enjoy the most [about the Dover track], but just the set of corners from straightaway to straightaway, you kind of work up your bravery. You make it through the corner, you get on the next straightaway and you smile, 'like wow, that was pretty cool, I’m going to do it again here, here we go.' And you fly through [turns] two and three and you just end up wit that mindset around the racetrack. It's a ton of fun." – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet) FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 48 driver would join NASCAR's elite with a 'Monster Mile' victory DOVER , Del. – With six NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and 73 race victories Jimmie Johnson is the most decorated driver of his era. And yet this Sunday, he still stands to elevate his legacy and join the sport's greats in another milestone. Should Johnson, 39, drive his No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet into Dover International Speedway 's Victory Lane in Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks, it would he his 10th win at the famed and feared Monster Mile, putting him in elite "double-digit" company. The last person to win 10 races at a single track was the late seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt at Talladega in 2000. Only three others have accomplished the feat – NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (at Daytona; Richmond; Rockingham, North Carolina; Martinsville, Virginia; and North Wilkesboro, North Carolina), Darrell Waltrip (Bristol, Tennessee; Martinsville; and North Wilkesboro) and David Pearson (Darlington, South Carolina). And if that weren't impressive enough, Johnson is only 24 laps shy of leading 3,000 laps at Dover . Should he break that threshold he would be one of only seven drivers in history to lead 3,000 miles at a single track. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon is the only other active driver to hit that mark (at Martinsville). In winning this race last year, Johnson led a dominant 272 laps. "It's crazy for me to have this reality,'' said Johnson, who will start 14th Sunday. "It's nothing that I thought would happen. I'm certainly enjoying the moment while I’m here." Beyond the status in the history books, Johnson has often expressed how genuinely honored he is to have his name alongside the NASCAR legends. He has always spoken reverently about the drivers who came before him and even after all he's accomplished Johnson still seems to be the one humbled by the company he's keeping. "If I was able to accomplish it, I'd just be honored to be in that same situation that had been done by Dale Earnhardt Sr.,'' Johnson said. "I never had the chance to race against him. It's one big empty void that I have in my career. I feel is that I never had a chance to be crashed by him or have a tire mark put on my car, to pass (laughing) or to be passed. That whole experience, I didn't have that opportunity and I so wish that I did.'' Johnson's success at the notoriously challenging Dover one-mile concrete oval is especially impressive. The track is nicknamed the"Monster Mile" for a reason – tight, high-banked and physically demanding. There is little room for error on track or on pit road. And yet Johnson has been good here since day one. Literally. In his 2002 rookie year, Johnson swept both Cup races. And he has shown a propensity to get on a roll. He's won back-to-back races three times. He swept the 2009 races at Dover and has won two of the last three here, finishing third to teammate Gordon last fall. "I go all the way back to my first trip here in an ASA (American Speed Association) car and it was love at first site,'' said Johnson, who won the pole and finished eighth in his very first Dover race in 1999. So why has Johnson been able to master the Monster that has challenged so many others? Interestingly, it's the difficulty that intrigues Johnson, not that the track is necessarily easy for him. "I guess to generalize it, it would be the intensity required to run a lap here,'' Johnson said. "It's hard to say that there is one aspect that I enjoy the most, but just the set of corners from straightaway to straightaway. You kind of work up your bravery, you make it through the corner. "You get it on the next straightaway and you smile like, 'wow that was pretty cool. I'm going to do it again. Here we go.' And you fly though turns three and four and you just end up with that mindset around the track. It's tons of fun.'' Nine trophies no doubt make it more fun. "There are a few tracks where I'm in a really neat position to chase history,'' Johnson said. "Again, it's not a situation I ever thought I'd find myself in, but now that I'm here it's certainly in front me. "It's on my mind and it's something I would love to do." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Coors Light Pole winner, teammate Edwards go 1-2 in both sessions RELATED: Practice 2 results " Final practice results Denny Hamlin kept his car at the top of the speed charts in Saturday's final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, a session cut short by a significant fluid leak at Dover International Speedway . Hamlin pushed his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota to a best lap of 156.087 mph on the 1-mile concrete track. Hamlin also led Saturday's early practice and secured the first starting spot with the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday's qualifying. As in Saturday's early session, Hamlin's JGR teammate Carl Edwards was second-fastest in the No. 19 Toyota with a lap of 155.602 mph. Paul Menard was third-best at 155.206 mph in the Richard Childress Racing No. 27 Chevrolet. Matt Kenseth was fourth-fastest and Kyle Busch fifth as Joe Gibbs Racing entries claimed four of the top five spots on the practice leaderboard. Jimmie Johnson , a nine-time Dover winner, logged the sixth-best lap ahead of Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). The final session was originally scheduled for 50 minutes, but a major fluid leak from the rear of Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet oiled a large portion of the track. Practice was stopped for approximately 13 minutes for extensive clean-up. Race officials added five minutes to the end of the session to make up for the red flag. Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick , the standings leader, was seventh-fastest in the final tune-up in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Hamlin stays the course in practice 2 Denny Hamlin continued his steady show of speed at Dover International Speedway , leading Saturday morning's next-to-last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice. Hamlin wheeled the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota to a best lap of 156.331 mph on the 1-mile concrete layout. A day earlier, he landed the Coors Light Pole Award, clinching the No. 1 starting spot for Sunday's FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). Though Hamlin has three pole positions for the last six Dover events, he has yet to score a Sprint Cup victory at the Monster Mile. Hamlin already has wins in hand this season at Martinsville Speedway and in the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Carl Edwards , a teammate of Hamlin's at JGR and last weekend's Coca-Cola 600 winner, clinched the second spot on the practice leaderboard with a 156.325-mph lap. His best time in the No. 19 Toyota was just one-thousandth of a second slower than Hamlin's chart-topping lap. Kurt Busch was third-fastest at 155.736 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet. Jimmie Johnson , a nine-time Dover winner in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevy, was fourth-fastest at 155.723 mph. David Ragan , prepping for his third start in the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota, completed the top five at 155.602 mph. Defending Sprint Cup champion and current points leader Kevin Harvick was eighth-fastest in the 50-minute session. Final Sprint Cup practice is scheduled for 1-1:50 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule