NASCAR Issues More Penalties During Practice
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on August 8, 2014 | 7:28 P.M. EST
Austin Dillon was among a number of drivers NASCAR penalized Friday for a blend-line violation during practice at Watkins Glen. (Photo: Getty Images)
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - NASCAR continued its crack-down on drivers violating the blend line, issuing penalties during Friday’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide practices at Watkins Glen International.
The issue is when drivers leave pit road and enter the track. They are required to have all four tires below the solid yellow line. They cannot blend on to the racing groove until the line becomes dotted. If they do before that, it is a penalty.
Richard Buck, Cup series director said that NASCAR had warned drivers about the issue but it continued to happen. NASCAR began penalizing drivers last weekend at Pocono Raceway by forcing them to pass through pit road before resuming practice. NASCAR penalized Greg Biffle in practice at Pocono and Jimmie Johnson in the first round of qualifying last weekend.
Friday, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola and Michael Annett had pass-through penalties for violating the blend-line rule in the first Cup practice session. Ryan Newman was penalized in the final Cup practice session.
Among those penalized in the Nationwide Series for the same violation were Trevor Bayne and Ryan Reed.
Jeff Gordon said it’s understandable that there have been some issues with the rule.
“For years we have not had that,’’ he said. “This year we have it because of the new qualifying procedure. Sometimes you just forget, but to me it’s about going along with those procedures during practice and your spotter reminding you when you go out and practice; where those blend lines are and what the procedure is and just getting into a rhythm of it.
“It’s taken a little while to get used to it this year. Other than that I haven’t had any issues.’’
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at The Glen starting at noon (ET), with live streaming at MRN.com.