NASCAR confiscated the rear deck lid from Austin Dillon’s Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevy on Friday at Talladega, but crew chief Danny Stockman said the team was voluntarily working on the piece to make sure it was in compliance.
Stockman told RACER and a reporter from Fox Sports that there was no template available for the spoiler that teams are using this weekend until they arrived at Talladega. NASCAR issues spoilers to the teams at the track and NASCAR Cup Series teams are using a nine-inch spoiler this weekend instead of the eight-inch spoiler used for races other than Daytona and Talladega.
Stockman explained that on Friday morning, one of his mechanics, upon getting the template, put it on the car and it did not fit the spoiler like NASCAR would have it do so in inspection. NASCAR officials took the deck lid as the No. 3 team was working on getting it fixed between practice sessions.
“We took the deck lid off and we’re over there sanding the deck lid to make sure the template is going to fit for today,” said Stockman. “We didn’t want any issues going through tech for qualifying this morning, so we were just fixing it because that was the first time we’d seen that template.
“We’re trying to be proactive. If we would have had the template at the shop, this would not have been an issue because the template would have fit. … We didn’t have that template.”
Before making the trip to Talladega, Stockman said his team did its best in checking what they could with the car, knowing they didn’t have the template and the car wouldn’t fit.
According to Stockman, what upset NASCAR officials was that there was bondo being used on the part. However, Stockman said there is no rule against bondo or other body filler being used although officials do not want teams working on or altering a manufactured piece.
“Every single deck lid in this field is going to have some (bondo) because you have to fit the templates,” he said. “It’s just what it is. I just wish we could have had the template at the shop — this has turned into a humongous deal, but we didn’t have the template at the shop to make the damn thing fit. Then we get here and try to be proactive about making the thing fit, so today I have no issues going through there.
“Nothing had been sealed yet. It’s an open garage — they can do whatever they want at any time they said, and I understand that, but if you don’t have the template what are we supposed to do? We have to be proactive (in fixing it) so today it fits when it goes through.
“How could they give me a penalty for that?”
The piece was taken to the NASCAR hauler and will be reviewed further by officials. A NASCAR spokesperson said any penalties would be issued next week.