Richard Petty Motorsports hit with big penalties following Talladega
Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 Ford was docked 35 driver and owner points for failing post-race inspection at Talladega Superspeedway following Sunday’s Geico 500.
Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer also received a $65,000 fine and was suspended from the next three NASCAR Cup Series points events. Scott McDougal, RPM’s director of engineering, will fill in for Blickensderfer over the next three races.
Officials discovered the No. 43 Ford did not meet the rear wheel steer on the Laser Inspection Station (Sections 220.127.116.11.2 Post-Race General
Despite finishing fourth at Talladega — and tying his best result of the 2017 season — Aric Almirola’s finish is considered encumbered per Section 12.10 of the NASCAR Rulebook: Encumbered Race Finishes.
RPM’s Director of Competition Philippe Lopez released the following statement:
“We accept NASCAR’s decision and will continue to work to get the most out of our race cars every week while maintaining the NASCAR rulebook. We look forward to Kansas this weekend.”
Almirola had climbed to 17th in the Monster Energy Cup standings following his second-straight top 10 finish. The 35-point fine knocks the No. 43 team down to 20th-place with a total of 187 points for the season.
The No. 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy also received a penalty (Sections 10.9.10.4: Tires and Wheels) for not having all five lug nuts tight. Crew chief Ken Davis was fined $10,000 for the infraction. Elliott Sadler was driving the car at Talladega. He finished 17th.
NASCAR also suspended crew member Reid Ferguson indefinitely for failing the substance abuse policy (Sections 12:1;19).
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