Team Penske crew chief Jeremy Bullins will miss the next four NASCAR Cup Series points races as a penalty for the wheel that came off Austin Cindric’s No. 2 Ford Mustang Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Bullins (pictured at left, above, with Cindric) and crew members Curtis Thompson, the front tire changer, and Patrick Gray, the jackman, have been suspended from the events at Pocono Raceway (July 24), the Indianapolis road course (July 31), Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 7), and Richmond Raceway (Aug. 14).
Cindric and company finished 13th in the Ambetter 301. The left-front wheel came off Cindric’s car after the team completed a pit stop at the end of the second stage. Cindric had left his pit stall when the wheel came became loose and completely detached the car, rolling down pit road.
NASCAR did not penalize Joe Gibbs Racing a week prior when a wheel came off Christopher Bell’s No. 20 car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in a similar fashion. Bell also lost a wheel on pit road after a pit stop, but NASCAR officials felt it did not cause a safety risk to others.
The penalty to Cindric’s team is the 12th issued this year for a wheel coming off a vehicle. Cup Series teams are using a single center-locking lug nut for the first time this season on the Next Gen car.