NASCAR suspends two crew chiefs for 2020 New Hampshire race

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

NASCAR announced on Sunday that two crew chiefs have been suspended before their 3 pm EST Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. These crew chiefs work with Bubba Wallace and Corey LaJoie’s teams.

The crew members in question are Jerry Baxter for Wallace’s team and Ryan Sparks for LaJoie’s team. Both were suspended following a pre-race inspection that found improperly mounted ballast.

Cash App Chevrolet driven by Bubba Wallace waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Bubba Wallace’s car waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Both drivers have lost their starting positions for the race. In addition, they have also lost 10 points each from their driver and car owner points each.

Wallace was supposed to finish 15 before the failed pre-race inspection. LaJoie was supposed to start 33rd. Now, both drivers will begin earlier in the rear.

With the deduction, Wallace is now 21st in the points standings. Chris Buescher is now ahead of Wallace, as he has 321 points compared to Wallace’s 318 points.

LaJoie did not move, as he has remained in the 29th spot following the penalty.

Wallace — who has had some controversy with an alleged hoax noose incident at Talladega — has an average start at 21.7. However, he has an average finish of 19th with three did not finish.

He does have three Top 10 finishes on the season. His best finish of the season was sixth at the 2020 Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube on February 23, 2020 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LaJoie — like Wallace, who has no career wins — has an average start of 27.7 on the season. His average finish is 23.5, while he also has two did not finish.

His lone Top 10 finish came at the 2020 Daytona 500 when he finished eighth.

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