Tha Sports Junkies 101

Newman, Larson, Blaney Penalized For Darlington Infractions


Ryan Newman can still make the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship going into this weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway. But after penalties were announced by NASCAR Wednesday afternoon, the job got a little bit tougher.

NASCAR officials announced a P3 level penalty for the Richard Childress Racing number 31 team, including a 15 point deduction for failing the post race Laser Inspection Station (LIS) at Darlington Raceway last Sunday night. Additionally, competition officials docked the team 15 owners points and fined crew chief Luke Lambert $25,000.

Newman’s eighth place finish originally left him 7 points behind Jamie McMurray for the final spot in the sixteen driver elimination style playoff that determines 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Now, Newman will need to overcome a 22 point deficit to make the chase field, which will be determined after Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond. Newman, a former winner at Richmond and the 2014 series runner up, will need a strong run and possibly some misfortune to befall McMurray if he is going to contend for the title.

In addition to the 31 team, Chip Ganassi Racing number 42 Chevrolet of Kyle Larson also failed LIS post race and was administered a P2 level penalty. Larson was docked 15 driver points, the team lost 15 owner points, and crew chief Chad Johnston was issued a $22,500 fine. However, Larson is locked into the chase via his win at Michigan and solid placement in the top 30 in driver points.

One other significant penalty of note, Ryan Blaney was fined $1,000 for a safety equipment infraction. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender and his throwback uniform were a bit too authentic when he took to the track for practice on Saturday without wearing his protective driving gloves. No additional point or monetary penalties were issued to Blaney or any of his number 21 Wood Brothers Racing team members.