Big Penalty for Larson

Kyle Larson

Larson was penalized 35 driver points and the team also lost the same number of owner points. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Kyle Larson’s second-place finish in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway was ruled encumbered by NASCAR.

An illegal rear brake cooling assembly was found on Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. As a result crew chief Chad Johnston was suspended for three races and fined $75,000. Larson was penalized 35 driver points and the team also lost the same number of owner points.

Chip Ganassi Racing said it wouldn’t appeal in a statement that read: “We accept the penalty and will move forward.”

Because of the point penalty, Larson loses the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lead, which he held over Kentucky race winner Martin Truex Jr. by one after Saturday night’s race. With the regular season leader earning 15 playoff points, the penalty could have a huge impact on the championship picture. Truex Jr. currently has 28 playoff points earned through stage and race wins.

Larson’s Kentucky weekend also included an inspection issue before qualifying. He did not take a lap of qualifying and started Saturday’s race from the rear of the field.

NASCAR also announced Tuesday a penalty to Kyle Busch’s fifth place finishing team for a loose lug nut. Crew chief Adam Stevens was fined $10,000.

 
 

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