BRISTOL, Tenn. – NASCAR officials announced Sunday morning that after additional review of post-race inspection from Bristol Motor Speedway, Daniel Hemric was incorrectly penalized for a mechanical measurement issue following the NASCAR Xfinity Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300.
Originally the L1-level penalty, which was announced on Saturday evening, stripped Hemric of his Dash 4 Cash eligibility as one of the three highest-finishing series regulars that didn’t win the $100,000 bonus. However, that penalty has been withdrawn and Hemric will be a Dash 4 Cash contender on April 20 at Richmond Raceway.
Xfinity Series Managing Director Wayne Auton explained the error on Sunday, clarifying the specific issue that had arisen with Hemric’s No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet.
“At the point in time we made the announcement on Saturday, the (No.) 21 car did exceed the tolerance for mechanical measurements,” Auton said. “The issue with the car pertained to wheel toe alignment.”
As per the Xfinity Series rule book, the rear wheel toe alignment of a car in post race inspection must be 1.63 degrees or more on both sides of the vehicle, or 1.85 degrees or more on any side, to rise to the level of an L1 penalty.
In Hemric’s case, the car was only minimally out of tolerance on one side. Had both sides been out of tolerance, the penalties would have been a loss of 35 driver and owner points, a three-race suspension for crew chief Danny Stockman and a $20,000 fine.
In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the rear wheel toe alignment rules are stricter and written such that any measurement out of tolerance on either side of the car results in an L1-level penalty.
“We officiate the NASCAR Xfinity Series a little bit differently than we do the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series,” Auton explained. “The reason (NASCAR) doesn’t announce penalties right out of the box after a race is because we always go back, do our due diligence and make sure we’ve got our Is dotted and our Ts crossed.”
“When we went back and did that due diligence, looked over all of our numbers and checked them against the rules in our rulebook … there’s a chart in there that explains that the one side that was out of tolerance did not exceed the tolerance to the level that would lead to an L1 penalty in the Xfinity Series.”
Auton said that NASCAR officials have called both Richard Childress Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing to explain the situation and go over the sanctioning body’s final decision.
Brandon Jones, who finished sixth in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series, was originally announced as the fourth driver in the running for the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus at Richmond before Sunday’s ruling bumped him back out of the quartet.
Ryan Preece, who won Saturday’s race at Bristol and collected the first $100,000 Dash 4 Cash check from Comcast and Xfinity, is not entered for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway and as such, is not Dash 4 Cash-eligible despite winning the bonus money.
This year’s Dash 4 Cash rules state that the winner of the $100,000 bonus and the next three highest-finishing drivers racing for Xfinity Series points become eligible for the next Dash 4 Cash race.
Also eligible for the Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus at Richmond in addition to Hemric are Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Spencer Gallagher.