NASCAR Cup Series racer Joey Logano’s win at Richmond no longer counts towards making the playoffs that determine the season championship, NASCAR announced today. Logano’s car failed post-race inspection, so he was given the series’ first “encumbered win”—as in, keep the trophy, but your win is sort of meaningless now.
A rear suspension violation was found in the post-race teardown of Logano’s No. 22 Penske Ford at NASCAR’s R&D Center in North Carolina, per NASCAR:
According to the penalty grid NASCAR issued, the No. 22 team did not adhere to the following: the Truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.
So far, Richmond has been Logano’s only win this year, and since wins get you an automatic spot in NASCAR’s Playoffs Formerly Known As The Chase, Logano will have to win another race (without getting caught for any out-of-spec car mods) before he’s automatically in the playoffs.
In addition to making his win meaningless in terms of getting Logano into the playoffs, the five playoff points that came with the win will no longer apply. Logano loses 25 driver points, Team Penske loses 25 owner points, and Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon has been fined $50,000 and is suspended for two races. Ouch.
Logano is the first racer to have his sort of lose a win under this new rule. As we mentioned when encumbered finishes became a thing, it’s clearly time to get more creative with the ways you skirt the rules, NASCAR.