NASCAR Trucks: No. 51 team penalized for Iowa infraction

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Erik Jones and the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports team were victorious last Friday night in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Iowa Speedway, but they’ve been penalized today by NASCAR after Jones’ truck was found to be too low in post-race inspection.

Jones has lost 10 driver’s points and owner Kyle Busch has lost 10 owner’s points. Additionally, Jones’ crew chief, Eric Phillips, has been fined $6,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

Per NASCAR, the penalty is a P2 level infraction that violates Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20B-12.8.1 (truck failed to meet post-race height requirements) of the 2014 rule book.

The Iowa infraction marked the second consecutive week that the No. 51 was found to be too low in the front after a win, as Kyle Busch took the No. 51 to victory at Kentucky Speedway on June 26.

A minimum ride height rule was abolished in Sprint Cup as part of its 2014 rules package, but such rules remain in both the Trucks and the Nationwide Series.

Over the weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Busch touched on why his KBM Truck team has been having issues in that regard.

“There’s a tolerance or a window of I think a quarter inch that you’re allowed in green,” Busch said according to NASCAR.com. “Well, we start at the low side of that because that’s the way our setup is. So it doesn’t really give us that much space to go through the yellow, which I think is three-eighths of an inch or so. [With] the Nationwide cars, I think that tolerance is a half-inch. They widened it and guys are not having issues now because the tolerance is bigger.

“Our Trucks still seem to be having that issue just because the tolerance window wasn’t opened up as what Nationwide is, so we’re trying to get it the best we can. It’s our front end setup stuff. People know what we’re running. They know what we’re doing. It’s just a matter of trying to get it fine-tuned a little bit more, where we can start higher and maybe maintain a little bit better height if they don’t change the rule.”

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”