NASCAR Cup Series

Penske pals Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano without crew chiefs for Dover

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Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

When the NASCAR Cup Series visits Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Ryan Blaney will be the only Team Penske driver with his regular crew chief. NASCAR released its weekly penalty report on Tuesday, which revealed Joey Logano‘s crew chief Paul Wolfe has been suspended after the #22 was found without two lug nuts properly installed. Logano is joined by Brad Keselowski in losing their pit box leaders as Keselowski continues to be without Jeremy Bullins for the second consecutive week.

Under NASCAR rulebook sections 10.9.19.4, all lug nuts must be properly installed. Logano’s car was found in post-race inspection to have two that do not meet said rule, resulting in Wolfe receiving a $20,000 fine and a one-race suspension. Had it just been one nut, he would have had the same punishment as Luke Lambert at the fellow Ford car of Chris Buescher, who simply had a $10,000 fine. A third loose/missing nut would result in disqualification and an L1 penalty.

Logano finished Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington in thirteenth. He is currently fourth in points with six top tens and a win at Bristol Dirt. Penske engineer Jonathan Hassler will be his interim crew chief; Hassler served in the same position at Martinsville in April for Matt DiBenedetto of Wood Brothers Racing when his crew chief Greg Erwin tested positive for COVID-19.

Bullins suffered the same fate as Wolfe in March when he was suspended for the Atlanta race for two loose lugs at Phoenix. He missed Darlington due to team protocols that are presumably related to COVID-19. Team engineer Grant Hutchens, who filled in for Bullins at Phoenix and Darlington, will continue to do so at Dover.

Keselowski, winner at Talladega, ended Darlington in twenty-fourth after starting on the pole. He sits ninth in the standings with five top tens.

Other lug nut penalties from Darlington came at the Xfinity Series level. Kaulig Racing‘s Bruce Shlicker (#10 of Jeb Burton) and Jason Trinchere (#16, A.J. Allmendinger), along with Martins Motorsports‘s Buddy Sisco (#44, Tommy Joe Martins) received $10,000 fines each.

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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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