Hendrick Motorsports owes NASCAR a $100,000 fine.
NASCAR said Thursday that the team had been penalized for going over its maximum wind tunnel time for the 2020 season. Teams put their cars in the wind tunnel to test their aerodynamic efficiency and downforce and drag levels. Wind tunnel time is especially important in this COVID-19 impacted season as races are being held without practices or qualifying. Testing is also banned.
According to Fox Sports, the team self-reported the violation to NASCAR after discovering it had gone over its maximum time by “minutes.” Hendrick will also lose 10 hours of wind tunnel time in 2021.
Per the NASCAR rule book: “Organizations are allocated 150 testing hours to be used on Gen 6 vehicles through December 31, 2021 with a maximum usage of 70 hours in 2020 and a maximum usage of 90 hours in 2021.”
By the rule, since Hendrick Motorsports hit its 2020 max of 70 wind tunnel hours, it was set to have 80 hours available in 2021. But it’ll have just 70 wind tunnel hours to use after the 10-hour penalty. The 2021 racing season is set to be the final season of the current car design in the Cup Series. NASCAR is planning on introducing a new car in 2022.
Hendrick has two of its four drivers remaining in the playoffs with Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman still in title contention. William Byron was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, while seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson missed the playoffs in what’s his final full-time season in NASCAR.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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