Nearly a week after taking home the victory at Richmond International Raceway, this young NASCAR driver is speaking out about what he calls “severe” penalties imposed by NASCAR after his car failed inspection.
The Toyota Owners 400 win will not count for Joey Logano when tallying playoff points and will not count towards playoff eligibility after NASCAR officials ruled that his car violated a Cup Series Rule during the post-race inspection of his car.
On top of revoking the benefits of his win, NASCAR fined him $50,000, suspended his crew chief for two Cup Series races, and cost him 25 driver points with his team owner also losing 25 points. The penalty dropped him one spot in the standings and he now sits in fifth place. He was penalized and fined because the truck trailing arm spacer and pinion angle shim were not flush – a violation of Cup Rule Section 20.14.2 according to officials.
While Logano is still recognized as the official winner of the race, the racing organization has all but stripped him of any benefits of winning.
Speaking out in a press conference today ahead of this weekend’s race, Logano opened up about his feelings on the penalty for the first time.
“What happened is something that is very, very small,” He said of the infraction, adding, “What we got in trouble for something that didn’t really make our car any faster. It wasn’t enough to make it much faster.”
“Personally, inside, I still look at it as a win. But obviously from the outside, we’ve lost all the benefits of the win. … The penalty is pretty severe. It wasn’t a big thing, but the rule is written black-and-white. We pushed a little bit too far and we’ll pay that penalty and attack again.”
His racing team, Team Penske, said in a recent statement that they will not appeal the ruling and instead, will focus on winning going forward. Some of the penalties imposed by NASCAR are written out in the rulebook as automatic penalties if certain sections are violated – and Logano’s violation fell into that category.
“…We’re taking the hit, for sure, and it’s not going to be easy to overcome it,” he finished.
What do you think of the penalty? Do you agree with NASCAR’s ruling?
Let us know in the comments and watch Joey Logano’s full statement in the video below.