NASCAR Confiscates Aero Parts from Hendrick Teams
Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reports that NASCAR has confiscated hood louvers from all four Hendrick Motorsports Cup Series entries. The parts have been taken for further investigation, leaving the No. 24 team of William Byron, No. 5 team of Kyle Larson, No. 48 team of Alex Bowman, and No. 9 team currently running Josh Berry in place of the injured Chase Elliott to run with a new set of louvers for the weekend's race.
The hood louvers are a spec part in the current NASCAR rule set, so teams are expected to arrive to the track with identical parts to those used by other teams running the same manufacturer body style. The confiscation of Hendrick's parts suggests that theirs were modified in some way, although those modifications may not necessarily have been made to create an advantage. While the assumption is that a NASCAR team is more likely to modify parts to get faster, Pockrass notes that fitment problems with these specific parts could also be in play.
If NASCAR does decide to penalize the Hendrick program, the punishments could be severe. Last year, Brad Keselowski and his RFK Racing team were docked 100 regular season points, 10 points toward any potential playoff appearance, and $100,000 in a cash fine for an issue with a repaired body panel. NASCAR also has the ability to show leniency toward teams after confiscating parts, though; just a month before that penalty, the series chose not to penalize RFK Racing at all for a wheel modification before the Daytona 500.
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