Three Blaney crew members suspended over loose wheel

The No. 12 Team Penske Ford, driven by Ryan Blaney, has been penalized for losing a wheel during last weekend's NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

As expected, three crew members from the No. 12 car have been suspended for the next four races.

This is because of a loose wheel that came off as Blaney exited his pit stall on Lap 92 of the 500-lap race. He had just hit the wall due to a flat tire and the team was scrambling as he brought the wounded car to pit road. After sending him back out, the left-rear wheel immediately came off and rolled down pit road.

Nonetheless, Blaney escaped elimination in the cutoff race. He will now have to go the entirety of the Round of 12 (and the opening race to the Round of 8) without his usual crew chief, Jonathan Hassler. Two pit crew members — Graham Stoddard and Zachary Price, have also been suspended.

In the reset standings, Blaney sits eighth, right on the edge of the drop zone. He is the only driver in the playoffs without a race win.

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