NASCAR issues Daytona 500 wheel penalties

The #50 Chevrolet. Picture: The Money Team Racing Twitter

NASCAR has sanctioned two Cup Series teams for wheel violations during the Daytona 500.

However, those penalties do not relate to Team Penske nor Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, both of which had wheels confiscated by category officials last week, triggering an investigation at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in North Carolina.

Instead, it was the #31 Kaulig Racing (Justin Haley) and #50 The Money Team Racing (Kaz Grala) entries which were penalised, both having lost wheels during the Sunday race at Daytona International Speedway.

Owing to safety violations, three members of each crew have been suspended for the next four points-paying events.

For Kaulig Racing, those are crew chief Trent Owens, front tire changer Jacob Nelson and jackman Marshall McFadden.

For the Floyd Mayweather Jnr-owned #50, crew chief Tony Eury Jnr, rear changer Aaron Powell and jackman Chris Zima have been suspended.

While no action was announced relating to Team Penske or RFK Racing, NASCAR did also release the following statement:

NASCAR met with Next Gen suppliers and several race teams this week to discuss wheel specifications.

“Following that discussion, NASCAR made small adjustments to increase the upper tolerance on pin and pilot bores for Fontana.

“NASCAR will re-evaluate with suppliers and race teams and determine a path forward following this weekend’s race.”

Roger Penske had already declared his team had not tried to gain an unfair advantage in the saga, which came as the Next Gen cars competed for points for the first time.

With the new regulations come 18-inch wheels and a single lug not, replacing the 15-inch, five-lug variety previously in use.

“We had contacted NASCAR a week before and said that the wheels we were getting were not all the same and we felt we needed to modify the holes where the drive pins go in,” he explained earlier in the week.

“We didn’t really get any feedback, and at that point, we went ahead and opened the holes up.”

Round 2 of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series unfolds this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

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