Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
National | By Miranda Cannon

Hit by NASCAR penalty, Logano says team doesn't cheat

Hit by NASCAR penalty, Logano says team doesn't cheat

NASCAR has penalized Joey Logano and Team Penske after Logano won Sunday's Monster Cup Series event at Richmond, resulting in the victory not counting toward an automatic playoff spot.

"The fact of the matter is we're winning right now, and when your vehicle wins, it gets put through tech a lot". NASCAR said on Thursday the truck arm in the back of the auto was installed improperly. When asked a second time about swerving, after his teammate Brad Keselowski swerved during the cool down lap at Richmond and NASCAR officials found nothing wrong with the No. 2 Ford in post-race, Logano deferred to Penske management.

NASCAR also suspended Logano crew chief Todd Gordon for two races, fined him $50,000 and charged Logano 25 points for the violation, according to ESPN.

He still remains the official victor of the race. "Race Engineer Miles Stanley will serve as Joey Logano's crew chief this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, while Greg Erwin will help call race strategy on Sunday".

Other penalties from Richmond include Denny Hamlin's crew chief, Mike Wheeler, being fined $10,000 for one lug nut being improperly secured.

Team Penske has not yet announced whether it will appeal the penalty. "When you're a little bit over, we're sitting talking about what we are today".

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Logano and the No. 22 team was fined 25 owner and driver points.

The encumbered finish means Logano can not use the Richmond win to qualify for the playoffs and should he make the playoffs anyway, he would not receive the five playoff bonus points from the Richmond win.

"It was legal when it rolled across the NASCAR inspection platform to start with, and I would say just race loads and everything else, it became low enough in load that the back of the pinion gap opened up a 32nd of an inch", he said. The rule is black and white that it must be flush and we apparently had a little bit of a gap.

In another penalty issued Thursday, Denny Hamlin's vehicle, the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing entry, was missing a lug nut during postrace inspection at Richmond.

With the penalty, Logano drops from fourth to fifth in the standings.

Gordon also said: "If you look at our rear suspension. there's not really a whole lot of tomfoolery that goes on to hide something like this. To a certain point", Logano said.

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