As Wednesday hit, NASCAR dropped the hammer on several teams who were caught modifying single-source supplier parts on the NextGen car. While Hendrick Motorsports stole most of the headlines as all four of their teams received steep points penalties and monetary fines following a couple of back-to-back out-right dominant performances, they weren’t the only ones slapped down hard.
Two-car team, Kulig Racing, in only their sophomore season also received the same penalties as HMS but with only one of their cars: the No. 31 of Justin Hailey.
You Need To Know:
- Heading into the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, the governing body stated that there would be a zero-tolerance policy pertaining to modifying or altering a single-source part of the NextGen car. The policy was put to the test a handful of times as Brad Keselowski and his No. 6 crew for RFK Racing as well as Michael McDowell’s No. 34 for Front Row were all hit hard with similar steep penalties, ones from which they would never recover by season’s end.
- In terms of appeals over these types of penalties, the future looks bleak for Kaulig. The appeal board for NASCAR has a history of ruling in favor of the governing body of the sport. If anything, penalties were altered slightly without taking away too much of the weight. In 2022, Stewart-Haas racing rescinded their appeal attempt, believing it to be futile.
- While the penalties dished out last year were kept vague by NASCAR as to the specific parts that were altered, this time around there was a little more transparency as NASCAR noted it was the hood vents on the five cars that were confiscated. Though it was never explicitly stated what made NASCAR do a double take at their appearance, at least now we do know the actual part NASCAR had a problem with. With fans screaming for transparency when it comes to NASCAR officiating, only time will tell if this will satisfy the NASCAR fandom or if they still have a great deal of work to do.
As a part of their appeal request, Kaulig Racing has asked NASCAR for the suspension of No. 31 crew chief, Trent Owens, to be deferred until a formal hearing could take place. There is precedence for this in the past and it will be interesting to see how NASCAR reacts in the coming weeks.
The Main Characters
Chris Rice, a high-ranking official for Kaulig, states here that a press release will be coming regarding the penalties. In the statement, they announced their intention to appeal the penalties handed down by NASCAR on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, he also stresses that he and the rest of Kaulig Racing are focused heading into Atlanta. It will be the Dinger’s first trip to the newly reconfigured Atlanta Superspeedway.
To echo Chris Rice’s statement, driver of the No. 31 car announced that after two straight weeks of having KFB behind the wheel of the No. 10 Leaf Filter Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, it was his turn. He will return to the lower series this weekend at Hotlanta.
In The Stands
Rob points out that with Kaulig more-or-less being a upstart in their sophomore year, these fines and penalties could be far more damaging to them than a conglomerate such as Hendrick Motorsports.
This Dale Jr. fan questions the procedure NASCAR uses to dish out these single-source parts. Should there be an inspection process provided prior to the teams receiving the faulty parts?
DavidfromMd echoes Mary4Jr88’s point. Will we see NASCAR deflect blame to the single-source suppliers or will they continue to bring the hammer down on their own teams?
Javier isn’t biased at all this their request…Should NASCAR give all the points back and set everything back to the way it was? Unlikely to happen, regardless.
From The Pressbox
NASCAR on FOX reporter, Bob Pockrass, first broke the story of Kaulig’s intention to appeal.
Jayski reports that only one of the louvers was confiscated as the team claims it gave them “no competitive advantage”.
The Daily Downforce will keep up with this story and provide updates as they become available.