NASCAR punishes Gibbs, Hendrick, Penske

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – NASCAR handed out punishments to three top teams Wednesday for violations that included Denny Hamlin’s winning cars in his weekend sweep at Darlington and the No. 88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR said Hamlin’s cars in both the Cup and Xfinity races violated rear suspension rules. Cup crew chief Mike Wheeler was suspended two races, fined $50,000 and Hamlin was stripped of five playoff points, though the Joe Gibbs Racing driver will still make NASCAR’s postseason.

Earnhardt crew chief Greg Ives was suspended one race and fined $20,000 for two loose lug nuts found after the Cup race. Hendrick Motorsports says Travis Mack will replace Ives.

In the Xfinity Series, Hamlin crew chief Eric Phillips was suspended two races and fined $25,000. Team Penske’s second-place car of Joey Logano also violated the suspension rule and his crew chief, Greg Erwin, was fined $25,000 and suspended two races.

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