NASCAR Cup Series

Austin Dillon’s penalty upheld after failed appeal

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Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Austin Dillon will remain sixty points less than usual. On Tuesday, the National Motorsports Appeals Panel announced Richard Childress Racing‘s appeal of Dillon’s L1-level penalty from Martinsville in April has been upheld.

“While we are disappointed in today’s ruling, we look forward to having this issue in the rear-view mirror so we can focus on the rest of the 2023 NASCAR season,” reads a team statement.

Dillon had been busted for modifying the underwing assembly mounting, which must remain rigid in all directions during a race under Section 14.6.1 of the rulebook. The assembly in the underwing holds up parts at the front of the car like the splitter and is generally tightened once a height is set via ball joints and turnbuckles. If it is not in place, the splitter could be manipulated mid-race to impact aerodynamics.

“As submitted the nuts are not a thread locking device – they are connected and part of the turn buckle,” the panel explained. “The nuts do not lock the assembly. Therefore, the assembly has been modified.”

Dillon remains thirty-first in the standings. Had the penalty not occurred, he would be twenty-fourth with 193 points. He has two top tens through the first eleven races with a best finish of third at Bristol Dirt.

The appeal is the second by a Cup team to fail after Denny Hamlin‘s for his incident at Phoenix. On the other hand, successful Cup appeals include fellow Chevrolet outfits Hendrick Motorsports and Justin Haley.

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