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Hendrick Motorsports could receive big penalties after NASCAR takes parts at Phoenix

Hendrick Motorsports could receive big penalties after NASCAR took parts from all four cars. Find out what the penalties could look like below!

Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports might be in trouble following a Friday night news drop after practice at Phoenix Raceway. This comes after Kyle Larson led practice and easily had the best long-run car overall.

Find out what happened and what kind of penalties Hendrick Motorsports could receive below.

NASCAR takes parts from all four Hendrick Motorsports cars at Phoenix Raceway

NASCAR: Cup Practice
Mar 10, 2023; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) during practice for the United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hendrick Motorsports ended practice with much to be hopeful for as Larson and Alex Bowman sat in the top-3 spots for single-lap speed. However, the news that came after is what has the NASCAR world wondering what could be next.

NASCAR stated on Friday night that it took the hood louvers from all four Hendrick Motorsports cars. This is very notable because the sport saw something that could be a possible issue before practice and waited until after the session was completed to confiscate them.

A louver is a piece that helps form the hood vent on the front of the car. The organization is now forced to qualify with new louvers and go through pre-qualifying inspection like the others teams.

NASCAR will not issue any penalties during the weekend as any penalties would be announced next week. The sport will do more evaluation to determine if the team modified the NextGen part.

The sport has previously told teams not to modify the hood louvers as they have seen issues with them not fitting on the hood and to work with the manufacturer instead as any modifications could impact the amount of downforce.

With the rules for the NextGen car being strict, Hendrick Motorsports could be seeing some big penalties next week. Continue reading to find out what some of the options might look like for the team.

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Evaluating potential penalties for Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports
Mar 10, 2023; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) during practice for the United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR has made it clear to organizations that any modification of a NextGen car part will be met with severe consequences. Even if Hendrick Motorsports was having trouble with the hood louvers fitting, they were directly told to not modify them.

Any argument that Hendrick Motorsports would make if something is found by NASCAR relating to the process of them not fitting would likely be for nothing. So, let’s take a look at what could be coming the organization’s way next week.

The best-case scenario for Hendrick Motorsports is that NASCAR saw something they didn’t like but there is nothing in the rule book about it. This could be something that has a gray area and creates a situation where the team did not break the rules.

No penalties would be enforced in this scenario and Hendrick Motorsports would simply get a slap on the wrist to not do that again. Another situation is that NASCAR doesn’t find anything wrong and nothing happens at all.

The worst-case scenario would be the penalties that were seen last season for several teams. If NASCAR finds that Hendrick Motorsports did modify the hood louvers, a NextGen part, it would be really severe.

NASCAR has given the same three penalties for modifying a NextGen part since the start of last season. The full penalty is listed below.

  • 100-point penalty (driver and owner), the reduction of 10 playoff points, a four-race suspension for the crew chief, and a $100,000 fine

This would be a massive blow to Hendrick Motorsports since all four cars had confiscated parts. If NASCAR finds modifications on all four cars, each car could receive the penalty that is listed above.

It would be devastating for each driver to lose 100 points, 10 playoffs, $100,000, and their crew chiefs for four races since it is so early in the season. Nothing has suggested that Hendrick Motorsports has modified or not modified the part at this point.

The organization could receive zero penalties if nothing is found or the rulebook states what they did was perfectly fine before the weekend. On the other hand, Hendrick Motorsports could see one of the biggest penalties in NASCAR history if the parts are found to be modified.

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