As expected, NASCAR came down heavily on two teams that had tire issues during the Daytona 500 this past weekend,
The number 31 Kaulig Racing car driven by Justin Haley and the number 50 Money Team car driven by Kaz Grala both lost a wheel during the race. The new 18 inch wheels use a single central hub lug nut intead of the five lug nuts used on the old 15 inch tires.
Citing a safety violation, NASCAR has penalized both teams with suspensions. On the number 31 car, crew chief Trent Owens, front tire changer Jacob Nelson, and Jackman Marshall McFadden; and number 50 crew chief Tony Eury Jr, jackman Chris Zima, and rear tire changer Aaron Powell were all suspended four races each. The penalties were issued under the “Loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle with the note: Loss of tire/wheel during the event” in the rule book.
After having their tires confiscated, NASCAR issued no further penalties to Team Penske and RFK Racing.
NASCAR issued a statement saying, “NASCAR met with Next Gen suppliers and several race teams this week to discuss wheel specifications. Following that discussion, NASCAR made small adjustments to increase the upper tolerance on pin and pilot bores for Fontana. NASCAR will reevaluate with suppliers and race teams and determine a path forward following this weekend’s race.”