DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Just as NASCAR executive Steve O’Donnell hinted at following NASCAR’s most recent race at Kansas Speedway, Kyle Larson received an L1-level penalty on Tuesday for a rear window violation.
Larson’s No. 42 Clover/First Data Chevrolet team was found afoul of Sections 20.4.h (vehicle body) and 188.8.131.52.b&c (rear window support and structure) of the NASCAR rule book.
Just one week after Clint Bowyer received a rear window support penalty and Daniel Suarez was zinged for a vehicle body issue on the rear decklid, Larson’s team was caught with both issues at the same time. His rear window was not flush to the rear deck lid and the rear window support braces did not keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions.
Because of those violations, Larson’s team was docked 20 driver and owner points, he loses the playoff point that he would have banked with his stage two win, his crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $50,000 and his car chief David Bryant has been suspended from the next two points-paying Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events.
Despite the penalties, NASCAR has ruled that Bryant will be able to work with the team at the race track during this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the annual non-points showcase paying $1 million to the race winner.
Larson dropped from 10th in the Cup Series standings to 11th due to the points deduction.
He led a race-high 101 laps Saturday night in Kansas and was in contention to win, before contact with Ryan Blaney inside of 25 laps to go sent him to pit road with a tire rub and forced him to rally back through the field.
Coming all the way back through traffic, Larson eventually finished fourth, behind race winner Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.
Chip Ganassi Racing officials issued a statement Tuesday evening that the team would not appeal the penalties.
“Although all parties agree that the infraction was unintentional and the result of contact, we will not appeal the penalty so that we can focus our energy on the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600,” the statement read.
Larson stressed Saturday night in his post-race interview that he believed the dip in the rear window was a direct result of the incident with Blaney.
NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller disagreed with that assessment.
“We don’t believe that was the entire cause,” Miller told NASCAR.com. “I mean, there’s a possibility that it could have exacerbated the situation a little bit, but we have evidence that shows that there were things happening before that contact.”
NASCAR officials also announced that Logano’s No. 22 team received a safety infraction for one lug nut that was not safe and secure following Saturday night’s race at Kansas.
Crew chief Todd Gordon was fined $10,000.