Next week, both four Hendrick Motorsports Cup teams could receive significant NASCAR penalties.
NASCAR officials seized the hood louvers from all 4 Hendrick Motorsports vehicles—the No. 5 of Kyle Larson, the No. 9 of Josh Berry, the No. 24 of William Byron, and the No. 48 of Alex Bowman—after Friday’s lone 50-minute practice session at Phoenix Raceway.
Each manufacturer’s car has hood louvers, which are vents in the hood that serves as a release point for ducts that move air out of the radiator.
The inclusion of vents eliminates the need for teams to tape up the front grille of the car, which was frequently employed in the previous edition of the race car as a performance modification technique.
In the Next Gen car, louvers are regarded as a single-source provided item, and NASCAR has imposed heavy penalties for changes made to such parts in the previous year.
These penalties have included up to 100 points, 10 playoff points, and a four-race crew chief penalty for a team.
The Hendrick louvers will be returned to NASCAR’s research and development facility in Concord, North Carolina, for additional analysis. The start of next week will see any sanctions announced.
The louvers had a problem when they were first inspected by NASCAR authorities on Friday, but they still let the crews to use them during practice before confiscating them.
The louvers could be changed by the teams before Saturday’s test session.
In Friday’s practice session, Larson finished first and Bowman third. Berry placed 23rd, and Byron 20th.
For the race on Sunday, Larson went on to claim pole position. Berry will begin in position 17, followed by Bowman and Byron.
Seized Kaulig louvers
After qualifying on Saturday, NASCAR declared that it had also taken the hood louvers off Justin Haley’s No. 31 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing.
The louvers were removed before qualifying began, but the squad was permitted to replace them and participate in time trials.
The No. 31 louvers will be brought to the R&D Center for additional analysis, and any penalties will be disclosed the following week, just like with the Hendrick parts.
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Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity, Hendrick Motorsports, Phoenix Raceway