NASCAR has admitted making a mistake Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway when they stripped Dash 4 Cash eligibility away from Daniel Hemric.
Hemric’s No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet failed mechanical measurement in post-race inspection because the right-rear toe was out of alignment. With a third-place finish in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300, Hemric had qualified for the $100,000 bonus next weekend at Richmond Raceway, but NASCAR said after Saturday’s race that the infraction took his eligibility away.
Sunday morning, Wayne Auton, the Xfinity Series managing director, admitted: “We looked at it wrong.”
While the right rear was out of tolerance, Auton explained a graph in the NASCAR rulebook clearly explains that both sides need to be out of tolerance to reach penalty level.
Therefore, Hemric takes back his spot the Dash 4 Cash program and Brandon Jones, who had replaced him, is now back on the outside.
“We inspected seven race cars last night post-race and the 21 car was out of tolerance on one side. Going back and reviewing our numbers and our rules in the rulebook with the NASCAR Xfinity Series wheel/toe alignment, it plainly states you must have both sides out [of tolerance]. One side was,” explained Auton. “Our officials called us over and showed us the sheets that come out of the machine once it reads the cars, and so at that point in time, we made the announcement the 21 car did exceed the tolerance for mechanical measurements.
“But then going back and making sure we do our due diligence and making sure we looked at all of our numbers and rules in the rulebook, it plainly states, there’s a chart in the rulebook that our teams are aware of, and the one side was out of tolerance. The other side was not, and it did not exceed the number in the rulebook which would have led to an L1 penalty.
“We’ve called all parties involved this morning and advised them of our decision. Usually we wait until Tuesday but we felt like we needed to get ahead of this one because with our great sponsor Xfinity our motto is ‘Where names are made’ – Daniel Hemric is definitely one of our main names in our garage area, and we felt like it was only respect for the garage area to make sure we went ahead and got this out in front of everybody today, and so there will be no penalties assessed to the 21 car.”
The four eligible drivers at Richmond are Spencer Gallagher, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Hemric.