NASCAR Suspends Two Xfinity Series Crew Chiefs after New Hampshire Race

Post-race inspection failures in Loudon result in penalties for Joe Gibbs Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 - Practice
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When NASCAR announced its penalties for rules infractions committed during the July 20-22 race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Tuesday, two NASCAR Xfinity Series crew chiefs were included. 

Eric Phillips, crew chief on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team that had Ryan Preece as its driver, and Mike Shiplett, crew chief on the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team for which John Hunter Nemechek drove in Loudon, were each suspended for one race and fined $10,000.

Other penalties assessed to the No. 18 and No. 42 teams included the loss of 10 car owner points and 10 driver points. Neither Preece nor Nemechek race full-time in the Xfinity Series, so they are not competing for a championship. The penalties were the result of failed post-race inspections in which neither car met NASCAR height requirements.

Both Preece and Nemechek finished in the top-five at the July 21 Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire. Preece was third and Nemechek fourth. Another JGR entry, the No. 20 driven by Christopher Bell, won the race.

Joe Gibbs Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing have announced that they would not appeal the penalties so their respective crew chiefs will serve their suspensions during Saturday’s race at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Kyle Benjamin will drive the No. 18 at Iowa, while Nemechek will remain in the No. 42 for that race.

NASCAR issued one other penalty in the Xfinity Series after the Loudon contest. Timothy Brown, crew chief on the No. 52 Jimmy Means Racing team of driver David Starr, was fined $5,000 because the car was discovered to have a loose lug nut in post-race inspection. NASCAR also issued a $10,000 fine to Darian Grubb, crew chief on the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team of driver William Byron in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, for a loose lug nut after the Cup Series race at NHMS.