Almost two months since NASCAR returned to action amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport’s sanctioning body has handed down its first punishment for violation of virus protocols.
Jeremy Clements Racing owner Tony Clements was hit with a $10,000 fine on July 14 for violation of the rulebook’s Member Conduct Guidelines section 12.8.1.b and Team Event Roster Guidelines section 7.7.2.j. Those specifications outline the penalties for any crew member failing to cooperate with NASCAR’s rules regarding the coronavirus.
The former section reads that a “failure to comply with NASCAR’s COVID-19 Event Protocol Guidelines and/or instructions from NASCAR including screenings, social distancing, compartmentalization, and use of required personal protective equipment, etc.” and specifies a fine of $5,000-$25,000.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 14, 2020
The latter guidelines state “if a team is not in compliance with the Team Event Roster Rules and guidelines, that team will be subject to a Penalty as outlined in Section 12 Violations and Disciplinary Action.”
A memo was also sent out to teams last week regarding complacency toward the health protocols put in place, stating that the sport was seeing a rising number of personnel not wearing their masks.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has been steadily climbing since mid-June after a slight decline, and the Cup Series’ Jimmie Johnson contracted the virus two weeks ago. The seven-time champion missed Indianapolis Motor Speedway but recovered in time to race at Kentucky Speedway.