NASCAR on Monday suspended three critical crew members for Denny Hamlin’s team because a piece of tungsten fell off his car on the pace lap before the Coca-Cola 600.
The tungsten is required to meet minimum weight requirements on the car and the NASCAR rule book states if it is separated at any point it is an automatic four-race suspension for the crew chief, car chief and engineer.
Chris Gabehart, the crew chief, was suspended through June 10 along with car chief Brandon Griffeth and engineer Scott Simmons.
The piece of ballast added to the car weighs 35 pounds and costs $1,877 from the supplier. It fell off the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota before the start of Sunday’s race and Hamlin went to pit road for additional weight to be added back to the car. He didn’t join the race until eight laps had been completed.
He rallied to a 29th-place finish in the 40-car field.
Hamlin won not only the season-opening Daytona 500 but also won last Wednesday night at Darlington Raceway.
Joe Gibbs Racing did not immediately comment on the trio of suspensions.