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.
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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