With a race on the horizon in Atlanta, Hendrick Motorsports had to act fast. They have already named the four replacement crew chiefs. In the world of NASCAR, you gotta move fast. As the team awaits the appeals process, they will not defer their crew chief suspensions.
In the past, some teams have elected to defer the suspension of their crew chief immediately. It all depends on the time of the year, what race is coming up, and more. Here, Hendrick Motorsports appears they are just going to eat the suspensions and hope the points penalty goes down.
At any rate, the crew chiefs have been announced and there is a very familiar name on the list.
William Byron will be with Brian Campe. Alex Bowman gets his old crew chief out of retirement, Greg Ives. Meanwhile, Kyle Larson will team up with Kevin Meendering. Finally, Josh Berry as he continues to replace Chase Elliott will be with Tom Gray.
Hendrick Motorsports went with engineers to replace their top men in the tower. Campe is the team technical director, Meendering is the competition development manager, and Gray is an engineer at the Hendrick shop. Of course, Ives is a longtime crew chief who just retired from full-time duties after last year.
Hendrick Motorsports Will Appeal Massive Penalties
Altogether Hendrick Motorsports lost all of their crew chiefs for a month, were fined a collective $400,000, hit with -400 points and -40 playoff points. It’s not good, folks. However, it might get a little better depending on how the appeal goes.
The statement from the team lays it all out.
“On Friday at Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR identified louvers on our race cars during voluntary inspection 35 minutes after the opening of the garage and prior to on-track activity,” the press release says. “NASCAR took possession of the part approximately four hours later with no prior communication. The situation had no bearing on Saturday’s qualifying session or Sunday’s race.
“We are disappointed with today’s decision by NASCAR to issue penalties. We have elected to appeal based on a variety of facts.”
So, the way this works, a panel will be put together by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel. This is an independent body that will select three members to review this case. Last season, they did end up reducing penalties.
William Byron, Hendrick’s two-time race winner this season had an interesting appeal in 2022. What was once a $50,000 fine and 25-point penalty ended up going to a $100,000 fine and no points penalty.
It will be interesting to see if a similar decision is made when the panel hears the Hendrick Motorsports case.