Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

NASCAR suspends crew chief for Aric Almirola for 3 races

NASCAR suspends crew chief for Aric Almirola for 3 races

NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Almirola was penalized 35 points and crew chief Drew Blickensderfer was suspended three races and fined $65,000 after the vehicle failed post-race inspection. Richard Petty Motorsports has also been docked 35 driver and owner points.

This turn of events drops him to 21st in the standings and 36 points behind Trevor Bayne for the final playoff spot with 16 races remaining in the regular season.

Inspectors determined the No. 43 Ford had too much rear suspension skew after Almirola finished fourth at Talladega.

The penalties issued to Almirola mirror those handed to Brad Keselowski and Team Penske after officials found a similar violation on Keselowski's vehicle earlier this season. Blickensderfer is suspended from the next three Cup points races - this weekend at Kansas, the 600-mile race Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte and then the Dover race the first week in June.

NASCAR also suspended crew member Reid Ferguson indefinitely for failing the substance abuse policy (Sections 12:1;19).

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RPM can appeal the penalty. That penalty was twice appealed by Team Penske and upheld both times.

See complete information on the Talladega post-race penalties report.

"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", Philippe Lopez, RPM's director of competition, said in a statement provided by the team.

Director of engineering Scott McDougall will be the interim crew chief for Almirola during the suspension.

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