No. 20 Team Must Pay Up After Failed Inspection

by Guest Contributor On Wed, Jul. 27, 2016

Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

It’s been simultaneously a good and a bad week for Matt Kenseth, the driver and owner of the Joe Gibbs racing No. 20 team. While they won the race in question at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, there were no celebrations following the victory. After the race, the car was deemed to have some infractions, as shown from the results of the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). The LIS measures aspects regarding the chassis, including its alignment, as well as the axle housing and the tire chamber. However, NASCAR declined to confirm which specific area of the LIS test was not met by Kenseth’s Toyota.

The penalties for such infractions took more than one form. Driver and owner, Matt Kenseth was personally given a 15 point deduction in the Sprint Cup. This had some consequences for him, as with fifteen less points his position dropped from eighth to ninth place. However, following his two wins, the 15 point penalty did not do huge damage. In addition the crew chief of No. 20, Jason Ratcliff incurred a $25 000 fine and has also been placed on probation. Such a fine has got to hit Ratcliff where it hurts, and we hope that he has some money stashed away for these types of events. He also may want to try his hand at some betting offers to replenish his funds! With a really great variety of betting offers online it is becoming easier and easier to make some extra money, all while having fun and following the sports you love to watch.

But the No. 20 team was not the only team who got in trouble; other teams were given written warnings on Wednesday by the sanctioning body. These teams include, but are not limited to Ty Dillion who is the driver for the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet team, and Joey Logano who is the driver for the team Penske No. 22 Ford team. Hopefully, this crackdown by the sanctioning body will act as a motivation for future drivers and crew chiefs to ensure that their cars meet all stipulated requirements and specifications in accordance with NASCAR’s rules. However, for drivers like Kenseth who are doing pretty well for themselves, they may not really feel the burn of a 15 point deduction. But hopefully, drivers will be more careful in the future.

Kenseth and Ratcliff must be expectedly disappointed, but considering what the consequences could have been, they did get off fairly lightly. Following the news that the No. 20 Toyota had not passed the LIS, NASCAR fans took to social media; demanding that Kenseth have his victory annulled. However, this did not happen. NASCAR stated that it was their policy to allow drivers to retain their wins, even if their car is found to be in contravention to the rules after the race. The sanctioning body’s rationale for this is that it is important that the winner does not change after the drivers have left the track.


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