Ryan Blaney will have to compete in this year’s NASCAR Cup Series playoffs Round of 12 without his crew chief after NASCAR issued the team a penalty on Sept. 20 for its lost wheel incident on pit road during Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Crew chief Jonathan Hassler, jackman Graham Stoddard and rear tire changer Zachary Price are suspended for the next four Cup races. They will be allowed to return when the series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway later this year.
Team Penske has not yet revealed who will fill in for the absent Hassler.
The No. 12 is the 14th different team to suffer the lost wheel penalty this year. The incident that incurred the infraction came on lap 93 when Blaney went to leave his pit stall but was stopped short after his right-front tire came detached from his car.
Big issues for Ryan Blaney.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 18, 2022
The Team Penske entry finished 30th on Saturday night.
Blaney and the No. 12 team sit eighth in the playoffs entering the Round of 12. They are only four points above the cut line and are the only ones who have yet to win a race this year among all 12 drivers in the round.
No points deductions or monetary fines came with the penalty.
About the author
Dalton Hopkins began writing for Frontstretch in April 2021 after a staff writing position with IMSA. A race fan since he was three years old, he began freelance writing in 2018 and graduated with a B.S. in Communications from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019. Simultaneously, he also serves as a First Lieutenant in the US Army.
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