NASCAR suspends Hamlin's crew chief, car chief and engineer
As expected, Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 team received a harsh penalty from NASCAR after two large pieces of ballast came off his car at the start of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.
For the “loss or separation of added ballast,” Hamlin’s crew chief Chris Gabehart, car chief Brandon Griffeth and engineer Scott Simmons have all been suspended for the next four NASCAR Cup Series points events (through June 10).
Joe Gibbs Racing will not appeal the penalty. Sam McAulay will fill the role of crew chief during the suspension with Eric Phillips taking over as car chief and Scott Eldrige as engineer.
Before Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway went green, two pieces of ballast fell out of the back of Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota as he was leaving pit road and driving up the racing groove.
Aric Almirola ran over at least one piece, which damaged his No. 10 Ford.
Hamlin was forced to pit before the race began to replace the pieces that dropped out of the car. He did not return to the track until the first eight laps of the event had been completed.
Hamlin ended up finishing 29th, seven laps down from race winner Brad Keselowski.
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