NASCAR Severely Penalizes Hendrick Motor Sports Following Phoenix Race

CHARLOTTE, N.C – Each of Hendrick Motorsports’ four Cup Series teams, along with the No. 31 team of Kaulig Racing received penalties on Wednesday for using unapproved part modifications during last weekend’s race at Phoenix Raceway.

Each crew chief has been fined $100,000 and suspended for four races, plus each team will lose 100 points and 10 playoff points.

The details posted on Wednesday, say that NASCAR officials confiscated the hood louvers from all five cars before Sunday’s Phoenix race. The Hendrick teams involved were the No. 5 Chevrolet driven by Kyle Larson, the No. 9 of Josh Berry (driving in place of the injured Chase Elliott), the No. 24 of William Byron and the No. 48 of Alex Bowman, plus Kaulig Racing’s No. 31 of Justin Haley. The crew chiefs fined and suspended were Cliff Daniels, Alan Gustafson, Rudy Fugle and Blake Harris for Hendrick and Trent Owens for Kaulig.

NASCAR permitted the Hendrick teams to use the hood louvers for a practice session on Friday at Phoenix, but then took the louvers back to the R&D Center in Concord for further examination. Hendrick replaced the louvers, and all four cars passed technical inspection before Sunday’s race at Phoenix.

Hood louvers are used to help vent hot air out of the engine bay and protect from overheating.

Nascar Phoenix Auto Racing

William Byron, left, leads Kyle Larson early during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Phoenix Raceway, Sunday, March 12, 2023, in Avondale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)


Hendrick’s William Byron went on to win the race, his second victory in a row and the sixth Cup triumph in his career. All the other Hendrick cars also finished in the top 10, with Larson coming in fourth, Bowman in ninth and Berry in 10th.