NASCAR confirmed that it had discovered a rear suspension problem on Logano's No.22 Ford during the inspection and teardown process. The penalty also comes with a $50,000 fine and two-race suspension for crew chief Todd Gordon, and the loss of 25 driver points and 25 owner points, NASCAR announced. There are races where it may not know if a auto in second or third place is illegal, even if it passes cursory at-track inspection. Paul Wolfe, the crew chief for Logano's teammate Brad Keselowski, is serving the second race of a three-race suspension given for a Phoenix violation.
NASCAR said that on further inspection, Joey Logano's No. 22 Penske Team violated a parts rule.
Series star Dale Earnhardt Jr. called the Penske drivers out on the same issue last month.
"Like I said, I drive the vehicle", Logano said.
Logano was penalized 30 minutes of practice time at the start of Richmond weekend for swerving after the previous race at Bristol. "The silver lining to it all is I think this team has a great attitude and we're able to obviously race very hard and we race aggressively, whether that's apparently everywhere, but we race aggressive on the race track and off the race track and that's why we're successful and that's why we win races, and we're gonna continue to do that because we've got the right attitude to go out there and push hard". Both teams work out of the same garage in Charlotte, N.C., but only Logano's vehicle was penalized for infractions after Sunday's race.
Team Penske can appeal the penalties, but it isn't yet known if it intends to do so.
He still remains the official victor of the race. NASCAR stated Logano's win would not count toward playoff eligibility and he would not receive the five playoff points.
Losing 25 points drops Logano from fourth to fifth in the standings, but as ESPN's Bob Pockrass explained Thursday, it also severely hurts him under the new playoff point system.
"The Truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar", the rule reads, "and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times". Depending on how those parts move, the driver has a greater chance to drive through the corner.
NASCAR gives winning cars a follow-up inspection at its R&D Center in Concord, N.C. - that's where Logano's vehicle infraction was discovered. "Like I said, it wasn't a big deal, but it is black and white and for that reason we'll have to pay a penalty for that". The No. 22 team remains focused on competing for wins as we work towards the NASCAR Playoffs and a Championship.
Keselowski finished second to his teammate at Richmond and his auto was also taken for a further inspection.