NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin was involved in a matter before Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 was underway that could lead to a very hefty fine.
A chunk of tungsten ballast — which teams use to bring Cup cars up to minimum weight standards — fell off Denny’s #11 car on the parade lap.
This incident now puts Hamlin’s crew leader Chris Gabehart and numerous other team members in breaking the violation of NASCAR’S law book, which means a hefty penalty should be coming their way.
As the NASCAR rule book states, the punishment is 220.127.116.11.4.d: Minimum safety penalty options — “Loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle will result in a four Race suspension of the crew chief, car chief, and head engineer. And if NASCAR can’t tell which series or vehicle the loose ballast originated from, all cars entered for that Event from and associated with the team organization identified on the lost ballast could face suspensions.”
If NASCAR does decide to implements the potential penalty, Gabehart and others would miss the following four events: May 27 at Charlotte, May 31 at Bristol, June 7 at Atlanta and June 10 at Martinsville.
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Denny Hamlin finished way in 30th place, NASCAR’s longest race of the campaign.
Here’s what a manufacturer from rival team Stewart-Haas Racing shared via Twitter about the incident:
A 2 5/8” x 3 5/8” x 6” of Tungsten weighs 35lbs and costs $1877 from SRI.#CocaCola600 | #NASCAR
— Brian Murphy (@Brian_Murphy_) May 24, 2020
NASCAR ordered Hamlin back to pit road where the No. 11 crew added a new chunk of ballast to Hamlin’s car. He returned to the race eight laps down.