Tuesday in NASCAR is often “penalty day” and the first day of October was no exception for two members of the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage.
Penske Racing, whose race-winning No. 22 Discount Tires Ford driven by Joey Logano was too low in Nationwide post-race inspection after winning Saturday in Dover, has crew chief Jeremy Bullins fined $10,000 and team owner Roger Penske docked six entrant points in the owner’s championship.
Official violations for that car per NASCAR are: Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the NASCAR rule book, or has been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20A-12.8.1(B) (the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2013 rule book.
Elsewhere, Nelson Piquet Jr. was fined $10,000, required to participate in sensitivity training and placed on indefinite probation for violating NASCAR’s Code of Conduct policy.
Inflammatory, homophobic tweets posted Sept. 25 – since removed – were found to be in violation of Sections 7-5 (Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2013 NASCAR rule book.
“Nelson Piquet Jr. recently communicated an offensive and derogatory term that cannot be tolerated in our sport,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, in a statement. “NASCAR’s Code of Conduct explicitly spells out in the 2013 rule book our position regarding the use of disparaging terms. We expect our entire industry to abide by this Code.”
Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.
The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.
“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.
Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”
Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.
“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.
Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.