NASCAR has penalized Paul Menard and several members of his team for failing an inspection on Aug. 22. Menard will lose points while his crew chief will be fined and suspended. His car chief and another member of his team have also been suspended. NASCAR's decision has essentially destroyed Paul Menard's chances of reaching the Chase this season.
NASCAR's Penalties for the No. 27 Car
NASCAR found a modified frame on Paul Menard's No. 27 car in an inspection after the race on Aug. 19. Menard finished in ninth position at the Pure Michigan 400, but the organization claims that the inspection was random. Richard Childress and Paul Menard will lose 25 points while crew chief Slugger Labbe will pay a fine of $100,000 and face a suspension. NASCAR has also suspended Craig Smokstad and Grant Hutchens.
The Second Round of Penalties from NASCAR
The Aug. 22 announcement about Paul Menard's team was actually the second round of penalties from NASCAR in one week. The first round affected Kyle Busch's crew chief who was fined and placed on probation on Aug. 21. The No. 18 car had an improper weight that was found during an inspection. However, unlike Paul Menard, Busch did not lose any points.
Paul Menard's Chase Chances
After the loss of 25 points, Paul Menard is currently in 16th place in the Sprint Cup Series. He lost one spot because at the conclusion of the Aug. 19 race he was in 15th position. Richard Childress has already announced that he plans to appeal the penalties and hopes for a reversal of the point loss. However, NASCAR's appeal system is fickle and rarely works in the favor of drivers or team owners.
Prior to the inspection, Menard still had some hopes of getting a wild card spot in the Chase. Unfortunately, the penalties issued by NASCAR have made that dream almost impossible. Paul Menard now trails the leaders by an additional 25 points. If NASCAR does not allow for the reinstatement of his crew chief during the appeal process, he will also have to contend with staff changes.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
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