The good news is that Coca Cola 600 winner Carl Edwards, as well as 2nd and 6th place finishers (respectively) Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman all passed inspection following the race this past weekend. The bad news is that Jimmie Johnson’s (40th) team was handed a P1 Penalty after receiving their second consecutive written warning by NASCAR officials. The first was for modifying a side skirt during the Sprint All-Star Race on May 16th, while the latest warning involved the fact that his car required too many tries to pass pre-qualifying inspection before the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The same penalty was also handed to Justin Allgaier (43rd), who along with Johnson will end up with the last two picks for pit stalls this weekend for the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway no matter how they qualify for the race.
The penalty comes just as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director Richard Buck issued memos to all crew chiefs spelling out new rules in light of a “growing trend” of high failure rates during inspections this year, including Jamie McMurray’s crew chief Matt McCall , who has been place on probation through December 31st after receiving a P2 penalty) for modifying the right rear quarter panel opening after qualifying inspection for the Coke 600.
According to the NASCAR rule book, a P1 penalty could not only result in last pit choices, but also in reduced practice times, less time for qualifying, delay in order of inspection and/or be selected for post-race inspection, etc. P2 penalties (issued after a team or crew member amasses 6 or more warning during a 6 month period of time from the 1st one) could include loss of points.
Although penalties have often been determined at Buck’s discrepancy, the memo seems to serve as notice that the organization will now make the following requirements mandatory in order to “ ensure equal and fair opportunities for all drivers:”
All cars must pass initial inspection and receive a final sticker to be eligible to practice.
Cars that fail qualifying inspection twice will receive a written warning.
Cars that fail qualifying inspection three times also will be penalized 15 minutes of practice time at the next event.
Cars that fail pre-race inspection twice will receive a written warning. While cars that fail pre-race inspection 3-times will also be penalized 15 minutes of practice time at next event.
For those who missed it, the official order of finish for the 2015 Coca Cola 600 is: 1 Carl Edwards; 2 Greg Biffle; 2 Dale Earnhardt Jr; 4 Matt Kenseth; 5 Martin Truex Jr; 6 Ryan Newman; 7 Brad Keselowski; 8 Denny Hamlin; 9 Kevin Harvick; 10 Kurt Busch; 11 Kyle Busch; 12 Kasey Kahn; 13 Joey Logano; 14 Paul Menard ; 15 Jeff Gordon; 16 Austin Dillon; 17 Aric Almirola; 18 Chase Elliott; 19 Jamie McMurray; 20 Clint Bowyer; 21 Tony Stewart ; 22 Danica Patrick; 23 Casey Mears; 24 Sam Hornish Jr; 25 Kyle Larson; 26 Alex Bowman; 27 Trevor Bayne; 28 Cole Whitt
29 AJ Allmendinger; 30 Michael McDowell; 31 Brett Moffit; 32 Michael Annett; 33 David Gilliland; 34 Matt DiBenedett; 35 Josh Wise; 36 Alex Kennedy; 37 Ricky Stenhouse Jr; 38 J.J. Yeley ; 39 Landon Cassill; 40 Jimmie Johnson; 41 David Ragan ; 42 Ryan Blaney; and 43 Justin Allgaier.