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NASCAR Cup Richmond

NASCAR explains Kyle Busch grille tape penalty and delay in call

NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director Brad Moran offered further insight into the late-race penalty assessed to Kyle Busch and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team at Richmond Raceway.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Mars Crunchy Cookie Toyota Camry

In the Next Gen era, grille tape of any kind is not permitted on the cars. On Lap 345 of 400, NASCAR black-flagged Busch for putting tape on the grille.

The team said that the tape on the grille was a mistake, and that it was meant for a brake duct. Despite the penalty, Busch rallied to a ninth-place finish.

Team owner Joe Gibbs said post-race that he hadn't yet talked to NASCAR about the penalty, but he planned to. "I think the point was, when that happened, if that was a penalty, then address it. It wasn’t till I think two stops later. I think that’s our concern of, you know, because that would have completely changed their strategy So I think that will be something we discuss and go over."

NASCAR explains delay

NASCAR has since explained that the tape was applied on Lap 128 and brought to the attention of race control on Lap 234. It took a further 111 laps for the penalty to be called as NASCAR reviewed video, wanting to ensure that the team put the tape on and that it was not debris Busch picked up along the way.

“We certainly needed to do our due diligence on how it got there and what it really was,” Moran said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“So we went back while the race was going on obviously and did our due diligence to ensure, first of all, that the team placed the tape on the grille area. We did go back, found footage, found what we needed to say, yes, the team actually put it on. Unfortunately, they had a couple of stops, which they could have pulled it off and we probably wouldn’t even be talking about it today, but that didn’t happen.

He continued: “We got notification around Lap 234 and it took a bit of time, obviously. A lot of green-flag racing at a 3/4-mile track. It takes a while to pull that up and we do our due diligence. The last thing we’re going to do is bring a vehicle down and find out later that it was something picked up off the track or they grabbed it on pit road or something to that fact, but once everything was sorted out, we did see how it happened, where it was and the crew chief was notified that it does has to be removed.”

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