Jeremy Clements won the rain-delayed Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway, but he is no longer playoff eligible after an L2 penalty issued by NASCAR on Tuesday.
Clements keeps the Wawa 250 win, but his No. 51 Chevrolet was found with an intake manifold infraction after the post-race inspection was completed. As a result, the finish does not qualify Clements for the playoffs.
Additionally, the team was docked 75 driver and 75 owner points, and 10 playoff points. Mark Setzer, the crew chief, has been fined $60,000.
The penalty was listed under sections 14.6.12K&U of the NASCAR Rule Book.
Section K states: “The intake manifold must conform to NASCAR templates, gauges, scales, fixtures, and any and all other measuring devices.”
Section U states: “The floor of the intake manifold plenum must conform to the NASCAR Inspection Intake Manifold Plenum Plug Gauge. The NASCAR Inspection Intake Manifold Plenum Plug Gauge must fit into the intake manifold opening and contact the floor of the intake manifold plenum. The depth of the intake manifold plenum must be 4.000 (+0.000, -0.005) inches.”
According to NASCAR, all Xfinity Series and Dash 4 Cash-winning engines are eventually taken to NASCAR’s R&D for inspection, and the infraction on Clements’ unit was detected because the scheduled inspection happened to take place on the same week as his victory.
Clements scored his second career win in the early hours of Saturday morning when rain pushed the start time by a couple of hours. In the third overtime attempt of an attrition-filled race, Clements got a push from Sage Karam to take the race lead as Austin Hill faded with an electrical issue.
To earn a spot in the playoffs, Clements will now need to win one of the three remaining races in the Xfinity Series regular season. The circuit moves to Darlington Raceway next (Sept. 3), followed by Kansas Speedway (Sept. 10) and Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 16).