Joey Logano is not locked into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs just yet.
The No. 22 Ford failed the post race inspection following the Toyota Owner’s 400 at Richmond International Raceway, and has been punished with an L1-level penalty, which marks Logano’s win in the event as an encumbered one, NASCAR announced on Thursday.
Logano is not guaranteed a spot in the playoffs now, and he will no longer receive the five playoff points awarded for a regular season win.
The infraction was discovered during the car’s tear down at NASCAR’s R&D Center in Concord, N.C.
Logano will keep the trophy earned from the race, as the win at Richmond still counts towards his stats, just not his season points.
The Connecticut native is the first driver at the Cup level to be hammered by NASCAR’s encumbered win policy, which was introduced at the start of the 2016 season.
The team received the penalty for a rear suspension violation. According to section 20 of the NASCAR rulebook, “the Truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.” The No. 22 team failed to do so and was penalized accordingly.
In addition to the encumbered win, Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon was fined $50,000 and is suspended for the next two races. The suspension comes at a time when Team Penske’s other MENCS crew chief Paul Wolfe is serving a suspension as well.
Logano and the No. 22 team was fined 25 owner and driver points.
Penske still has the option to appeal the penalty. No word at this point if the team will or not.
Denny Hamlin, who finished third place in the race at RIR, was also penalized following the post race inspection for having a missing lug nut. No. 11 crew chief Mike Wheeler was fined $10,000 for the infraction.
Three XFINITY Series teams faced lug nut issues as well in Richmond’s post race inspection. Daniel Hemric, who finished third place in that race, had two unsecured lug nuts. No. 21 crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. has been handed a one-race suspension for the infraction and a $10,000 fine.
Matt Swiderski, crew chief for No. 3 Ty Dillon, and Mark Setzer, crew chief for No. 46 Quin Houff, are facing $5,000 fines for an unsecured lug nut on each of their cars.
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