NASCAR: Nationwide, Truck teams penalized after Iowa/Pocono

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Today, multiple penalties came down from NASCAR after this past weekend’s Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway and Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway.

The No. 23 Rick Ware Racing Nationwide Series team was penalized for a rules infraction found during practice for the U.S. Cellular 250.

Improperly attached extra weight fell off the car during the session, which violated Section 20A-2.3A of the 2014 NASCAR rule book.

As a result, crew chief Jonas Bell has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year.

With regard to the Truck Series’ event at Pocono, the No. 17 Red Horse Racing team and the No. 6 team of Norm Benning were penalized for their own infractions.

During opening day inspection, the No. 17 violated Rule 20B-5.10.1 (6), which says the combined thickness of the throttle shaft and throttle plates must not be less than 0.197 inches. Crew chief Paul Richmond was fined $7,500 and also placed on probation through the end of the year.

The No. 6 team’s violation came during the Pocono Mountains 150 race itself on Saturday and involved improper use of a battery-powered impact wrench during tire changes. Section 9-15J says only two NASCAR-approved 1/2-inch drive air wrenches “with a single socket and with a hex design capable of removing and attaching one lug nut at a time” can be used.

The team will be penalized with a loss of track time during the Aug. 15 opening practice for the Truck Series’ next race at Michigan International Speedway.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).