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NASCAR aims to come down harder on teams that lose items from their car while competing.
The sanctioning body announced Wednesday it will hand out four-race suspensions — coded in the NASCAR rulebook as a P3 penalty — to crew chiefs and other key crew members in the event a car loses ballast or an improperly secured wheel while on track.
The refinements come two-thirds of the way through the season and after a number of incidents involving weights falling off cars in both the Xfinity and Sprint Cup series earlier this season.
The crew chief, car chief and head engineer will all be suspended for four races if ballast falls off the car.
NASCAR announced before the season began that it wouldn’t require teams to secure all five lugnuts during a pit stop. Teams would be left instead to self-police themselves and able to run on four (or fewer) lugnuts if they were able.
However, teams were told that they could expect stiff penalties if they lost a wheel while running fewer than five lugs on a tire.
For a lost wheel stemming from improper installation, the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier will be assessed the four-race suspension.