NASCAR confiscates roof flap spacers from 16 Sprint Cup, 15 Nationwide cars at Daytona

4 Comments

Controversy arose Thursday at Daytona International Speedway when 16 Sprint Cup teams were found to have modified roof flap spacers, which are against NASCAR rules.

According to numerous tweets and media reports, NASCAR confiscated all the improper spacers.

Early Thursday evening, it was learned that 15 additional cars on the NASCAR Nationwide Series also had their roof flap spacers confiscated.

“The manufacturers supply you with a kit for the spacers on the roof flaps, and these 16 cars were not in compliance,” NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said, according to a report by USA Today.

Cars listed as possessing the improper equipment are those of Jamie McMurray, defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Michael Waltrip, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards.

All 16 teams were prevented from taking part in Thursday’s first practice session, but were eventually allowed to join the 90-minute period after proper spacers were installed.

Nine of the 16 Sprint Cup cars are Fords, six are Toyotas and just one is a Chevrolet.

Nationwide Series drivers whose cars had their roof flap spacers confiscated included those of Bayne, Reed Sorenson, Brian Vickers, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dexter Stacey,  Michael Annett, Cole Whitt, Mike Bliss, Robert Richardson, Jason White, Blake Koch, Landon Cassill and Travis Pastrana. Sprint Cup drivers who will be competing in Friday’s Nationwide Series race that also had the roof flaps on their NNS cars confiscated included Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch.

Roof flaps are similar to airplane flaps, in that once deployed they are used to slow a car down, and particularly in the case of a spinning car, to keep it from becoming airborne.

There is no word what, if any, penalties will be handed down by NASCAR officials.

A.J. Allmendinger led all drivers in the first practice with a top lap of 200.218 mph.

Daniel Ricciardo to decide soon about moving from Red Bull to another F1 team

Getty Images
Leave a comment

LE CASTELLET, France (AP) Daniel Ricciardo says over the next six weeks he wants to decide between staying at Red Bull or joining another Formula One team for next year.

Ricciardo said on Thursday at the French Grand Prix, “It would be nice to go on the summer break knowing what I am doing.”

F1 is working its way toward its three-week break in August with speculation mounting that Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren are interested in luring Ricciardo away from Red Bull for 2019.

“I will be honest, everyone is talking about Mercedes and Ferrari as potential places for me to go, and I am aware that there will be interest from other teams,” he said.

The Australian driver has won seven races in his four-plus seasons with Red Bull. He is fourth in the standings behind leader Sebastian Vettel heading into the race at the Paul Ricard Circuit near Marseille.

Ricciardo’s stock has risen in recent months after his victories in Shanghai and Monaco. His Monaco win was particularly impressive because Ricciardo had to deploy some masterful defensive driving to protect his lead after losing an estimated 25 percent of his engine power.

Ricciardo said he had not directly spoken to rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, but he hedged when asked if his manager had.

“People talk, have coffees, I will leave that one open-ended,” he said with a laugh.

Ricciardo called the decision on whether to go or stay with Red Bull the biggest choice of his career following his decision to leave his native Australia and continue his racing career in Europe over a decade ago.

“For sure the priority is to get a car to win the world title because I really believe I can,” he said. “I am slightly careful because it is easy to think the grass is greener and maybe it is, but I also have it pretty good where I am.

“People do like a change but just to make change for the sake of making a change is not enough for me. I need to find some substance behind it to jump ship.”

Red Bull announced recently it would be ending its 12-year partnership with engine-maker Renault and switching to Honda motors for next year.

Ricciardo was hesitant to endorse or criticize the change, saying he was going to “try to keep putting the pieces together if it is a good move.”

But with the question of the engine manufacturer out of the way, Ricciardo said Red Bull would likely be looking to resolve its drivers’ lineup for next year.

“I haven’t been pushed yet, but I would say that there will be some movement in the next week,” he said. “Whether that is something that gets put down on paper (or not), for sure the discussions will start to ramp up in the next few days.”