JGR teams penalized for unapproved oil pans at Michigan

Jun 21, 2011 - 7:45 PM Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - NASCAR handed down penalties to all three of Joe Gibbs Racing's teams in the Sprint Cup Series for rules violations that were discovered during opening-day inspection last Friday at Michigan International Speedway.

According to a news release from NASCAR on Tuesday, the teams of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in an event does not conform to NASCAR rules) and 20-5.5.4A (oil pan, failure to submit component) of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series rule book.

As a result, crew chiefs Mike Ford (Hamlin's No.11 car), Dave Rogers (Busch's No.18) and Greg Zipadelli (Logano's No.20) have been fined $50,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until December 31. JGR senior vice president of racing operations Jimmy Makar, as well the car chiefs for each team -- Chris Gillin (11), Wesley Sherrill (18) and Jason Shapiro (20) -- received the same monetary fine and probation period.

None of the teams were penalized with a loss of points.

Officials determined during inspection that each of the three JGR Toyotas had unapproved oil pans. NASCAR instructed the teams to remove the pans and replace them with approved ones. Series director John Darby later reported that each team made the changes prior to the start of the first practice session.

After Hamlin won Sunday's 400-mile race at Michigan, JGR team president J.D. Gibbs addressed the issue during a post-race winner's press conference.

"A lot of times we bring stuff to the track, and [NASCAR] will say, 'Hey, run it this week, don't bring it back and make these changes to it.'" Gibbs said. "Our fault was thinking we would have that conversation. When we got here [Michigan], they didn't like it. I think they thought it was a different issue than it actually wound up being.

"The reality of it is it was our fault for not bringing it to them and laying it out. It's a good lesson learned. Also having those communications ahead of time. We want to be in this sport, we want to be here with integrity and do things the right way. We made mistakes in the past as a team, and I'm sure we'll make mistakes in the future. If we can't conduct ourselves in the right way, there's no use in us doing this. It's a wake-up call for us to make sure we do a better job before bringing parts to the track."

Busch finished third, while Logano placed 18th at Michigan.

Last week, NASCAR penalized Busch's team after officials found the left-front end of his car did not meet the minimum height requirement during post-race inspection at Pocono Raceway. Rogers received a $25,000 fine, while Busch and team owner Joe Gibbs were docked six points each.

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