Darrell Wallace Jr.‘s spin in last Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway have cost him in the Monster Energy Cup Series standings. On Saturday, NASCAR announced he has received a 50-point penalty and a $50,000 fine after realising it was an intentional spin.
“We fully understand NASCAR’s position and expectations of its competitors,” said Richard Petty Motorsports‘ Director of Competition Philippe Lopez stated. “NASCAR has a difficult job officiating race events and we do not need to make the task more challenging. Wallace will not appeal the penalty, and will direct his immediate focus to this weekend’s event at the ISM Raceway.”
On lap 243, Wallace’s left-rear tyre went down. After briefly coasting, he spun in turn one to bring out the yellow flag; at the time, various drivers were pitting under the green-flag pit cycle. The caution forced such drivers and their teams to readjust their pit strategies, including playoff contender Kyle Larson.
After the race, Larson expressed his frustration with the caution, saying “Helen Keller could have seen” Wallace had intentionally spun his car. Larson ended his day with a twelfth-place finish and is sixth in points, 45 points behind championship leader Martin Truex Jr. and 13 behind fourth-placed Joey Logano. With Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM being the final race before the Championship Round, Larson needs a victory or a strong finish with help from other drivers to qualify.
As a result of the penalties, Wallace, who finished twenty-fourth, will have 37 points deducted from his total. He sits twenty-eighth in points.