Both of Hamlin’s Darlington Victories Encumbered

In a dramatic turn of events, both of Denny Hamlin’s race-winning Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas from Darlington Raceway were deemed illegal by NASCAR on Wednesday, as was Joey Logano’s second-place NASCAR XFINITY Series car.

Hamlin swept both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and the XFINITY race at Darlington over the weekend, but it turns out both cars had improper rear suspension modifications.

On the Cup side, crew chief Mike Wheeler was fined $50,000 and suspended from two races and the team has been assessed with the loss of 25 owner points and 25 driver points for the following violation: “Section 20.14.2 Rear Suspension I-4 f Truck Trailing Arm Spacers/Pinion Angle Shims. Spacers/pinion angle shims must conform to the following drawing: A-008- 01016d-16 REV. A. Notes: 6 The Truck trailing arm spacer / pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times. Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes.”

Hamlin’s race-winning JGR XFINITY car was slapped with the same violation. Crew chief Eric Phillips was  fined $25,000 and suspended from two races. Team has been assessed with the loss of 25 owner points. No driver points were involved because Hamlin wasn’t racing for points in that series.

Also busted for the same infraction was Team Penske’s No. 22 XFINITY squad. Crew chief Greg Irwin got the identical penalties: $25,000 fine and a two-race suspension, with the team losing 25 owner points.

By Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen is a veteran motorsports journalist. He spent 13 years with, where he was Digital Content Manager. Previously, he was executive editor of NASCAR Scene and managing editor of National Speed Sport News. Jensen served as the president of the National Motorsports Press Association and is the group’s former Writer of the Year.