Monday, August 15, 2022

NASCAR issues L1-level penalty to Petty GMS teams for illegal rocker arm assemblies

Erik Jones
Getty Images

NASCAR announced Saturday evening that is has assessed an L1-level penalty to the Petty GMS Racing No. 42 and No. 43 teams after it was discovered the cars driven by Erik Jones and Ty Dillon violated a section of the NASCAR rulebook pertaining to rocker arm assemblies at Pocono Raceway.

The Petty GMS cars were found to be in violation of Section 14.6.5.E Rocker Box Assemblies of the NASCAR rulebook, which states that the rocker box vent hole in the front tire extraction area “must have metal screen installed to the inner surface with a minimum 0.25 inch opening size. The screen may be bonded or mechanically fastened to the internal surface of the rocker box.”

As a result, both Jones and Dillon’s teams have been penalized 35 driver and owner points, while crew chiefs Dave Elenz and Jerame Donley have both been ejected from the race weekend at Pocono. Danny Efland — a former NASCAR Xfinity Series driver — will serve as interim crew chief for Jones on Sunday, while Joey Coehn will serve in the same role for Dillon.

In a statement released Saturday evening, Petty GMS stated that the team would not appeal the penalty.

The penalty to the Petty GMS cars is particularly detrimental for Jones, who entered Sunday’s race at Pocono 154 points below the cutoff line to make the NASCAR Playoffs. With the penalty, Jones is now 189 points below the cut line and drops from a tie for 17th in points to 19th in the Cup standings. Dillon, meanwhile, drops from 28th to 30th in points.

Both Jones and Dillon will have to come from deep in the field on Sunday, as Jones qualified 34th despite posting the sixth-overall fastest time in practice. Dillon will start 27th.

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