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NASCAR penalizes Richmond winner Joey Logano, team for violation; Penske won’t appeal

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 - Practice

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, talks with crew chief Todd Gordon in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2016 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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Joey Logano’s victory last weekend at Richmond International Raceway will not count toward earning a playoff spot after NASCAR penalized Logano and his team for a violation discovered at the R&D Center.

NASCAR ruled the result an encumbered finish because of the penalty, meaning the victory does not count when determining playoff eligibility and that Logano does not collect the five playoff points for the win. The victory also does not count in tie-breakers, if needed.

NASCAR suspended Logano’s crew chief, Todd Gordon two Cup races and fined him $50,000. NASCAR also docked Logano 25 driver points and the team 25 owner points. The 25-point penalty drops Logano from fourth to fifth in the standings.

NASCAR cited Logano’s team for a rear suspension issue, citing Section. 20.14.2 in the Cup Rule Book that truck trailing arm spacers/pinion angle shims must conform to regulations. NASCAR stated that the truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.

This is the second major penalty for Team Penske this year. NASCAR suspended Brad Keselowski’s crew chief, Paul Wolfe, three races and fined him $65,000 for a post-race violation at Phoenix. NASCAR also docked Keselowski 35 driver points and the team 35 car owner points. The team later appealed the penalty and the final appeal hearing will be Tuesday.

Also, NASCAR announced that Denny Hamlin’s crew chief, Mike Wheeler, was fined $10,000 for the team having one lug not improperly installed.

In a statement early Thursday afternoon, Team Penske said it wouldn’t appeal Logano’s punishment.

We understand and accept the penalty that was communicated to us today by NASCAR following last weekend’s victory by the No. 22 car at Richmond. We are disappointed by the notice, however, we do not plan to appeal the penalty. The No. 22 team remains focused on competing for wins as we work towards the NASCAR Playoffs and a Championship. Race Engineer Miles Stanley will serve as Joey Logano’s crew chief this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, while Greg Erwin will help call race strategy on Sunday.

Thursday night, Logano tweeted about the penalty:

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