Kaulig Racing and The Money Team Racing are the first to be penalized for losing a wheel in the single lug nut era. However, NASCAR has not penalized Team Penske or RFK Racing despite confiscating wheels from both teams during the Daytona 500 weekend after discovering modifications had been made.
The crew chiefs for both teams and team two crew members from each team have been suspended from the next four NASCAR Cup Series points events. Kaulig Racing’s No. 31 Chevrolet and the No. 50 Chevrolet from The Money Team Racing had a wheel come off during Sunday’s race, triggering the automatic suspensions.
In the first stage, Grala was the first to lose a wheel, the right-rear. Just a few minutes later, Haley lost his right-front wheel.
Trent Owens is the crew chief for Justin Haley and Kaulig Racing. He’s been suspended alongside crew members Jacob Nelson (front-tire changer) and Marshall McFadden (jackman).
Tony Eury Jr., who is the crew chief for Kaz Grala and The Money Team Racing, has been suspended alongside crew members Chris Zima (jackman) and Aaron Powell (rear-tire changer).
In the cases of Team Penske and RFK Racing, multiple wheels were confiscated from the two organizations to allow the series to investigate modified pin holes, which would expedite wheel changes.
While NASCAR chose not to penalize the two teams, they sent a note to teams going into Fontana about changes to wheel specifications.
“NASCAR met with Next Gen suppliers and several race teams this week to discuss wheel specifications,” said a statement from the series. “Following that discussion, NASCAR made small adjustments to increase the upper tolerance on pin and pilot bores for Fontana. NASCAR will reevaluate with suppliers and race teams and determine a path forward following this weekend’s race.”