DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – DGR-Crosley, the defending champion team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, was assessed a hefty penalty on Wednesday ahead of the season opener at New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 10.
The organization was hit with a P6 penalty for a violation of NASCAR’s preseason testing policy. According to NASCAR, DGR-Crosley conducted a private test with a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vehicle at New Smyrna with driver Ty Gibbs.
Section 12‐188.8.131.52.5 of the NASCAR rule book states that “any private testing by any NASCAR K&N Pro Series race team, employee, contractor, affiliate, associate, subsidiary or surrogate at any facility that appears on the series schedule or that has been granted a touring series sanction will be prohibited, regardless of rookie or veteran status.”
As a result of the P6 penalty levied against the No. 17 Toyota team, car owner David Gilliland and Gibbs have both been suspended for the first three races of the K&N East season, while car chief Chad Walters was suspended indefinitely from the series.
Gibbs and Gilliland were also docked 100 driver and owner points, respectively. Both driver and owner, plus Walters, received $5,000 fines as well.
The team has announced it will appeal the penalty, stating that the test was an ARCA test and not a K&N Pro Series test.
“This afternoon NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they are imposing for actions that occurred during an ARCA Racing Series test at New Smyrna Speedway on Jan. 14,” the team said in a statement. “We strongly believe that we did not violate any rules and will therefore appeal the penalty immediately. While the appeals process runs its course, we will move forward and keep focus on the upcoming season.”
The news of DGR-Crosley’s penalty comes on the same day that Gibbs was announced to Joe Gibbs Racing’s ARCA Racing Series program. Gibbs will pilot the No. 18 Toyota for JGR in 12 races this season, beginning at Florida’s Five Flags Speedway in March.
DGR-Crosley won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship last season with Tyler Ankrum, who piloted the No. 17 Toyota to four wins and the series title in his rookie season.
Of additional note, Tanner Gray was announced as a full-time driver in DGR-Crosley’s K&N East program in September of last year.
NASCAR officials confirmed Wednesday afternoon to SPEED SPORT that the penalties to the No. 17 team will not affect Gray’s ability to chase the K&N East championship, only that Gilliland cannot attend any of the first three series races.