Why Joey Logano could get another penalty for his illegal driving glove

NASCAR's Elton Sawyer detailed the penalties that came from Atlanta

NASCAR: Ambetter Health 400
Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

An additional penalty may be forthcoming for Joey Logano and the Team Penske No. 22 after modifying a certified piece of safety equipment, a driving glove, and giving it a web used to deflect air away from the window during time trials on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Logano was already penalized at the track, being sent to the rear for the start of the race and was forced to serve a pass-through penalty on the first lap, but those were immediately negated by a second lap crash on the frontstretch.

Regardless, the penalty was served and NASCAR’s head of competition, Elton Sawyer, addressed the penalty and explained why another may be coming on Tuesday afternoon during an appearance on SiriusXM Radio earlier in the morning.

“I want to be really clear on this one,” said Sawyer on the air. “If you take exactly what happened on track from a competition perspective and trying to enhance the performance on the race track … Obviously, we see time and time again at superspeedways and other events, drivers stick their hand out the window that’s not something we’ve been all that alarmed about.

“When you take it to the level that you have modified one of the safety equipment, gloves in particular and then using that, the penalty at the track was based off that. We disallowed the qualifying time and sent the 22 to the back and sent them to a pass through.

“The next step is when you look at safety equipment. we look at it very closely and take it very seriously. There have been numerous meetings over time about safety of the car and the equipment and the driver. When you take it and alter it, that is something we will discuss today and if it needs to have an additional penalty added to that.

“The reason I want to be really clear on that is that what happened at the race track and the way it was handled was based on performance and using that device. Now altering a SSI certified safety piece of apparel, that’s a topic we will discuss today.”

Here is a snapshot of some of the other penalty and officiating related matters from Sawyer’s morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Stewart-Haas roof rails

The No. 10 and No. 41 cars, driven by Noah Gragson and Ryan Preece respectively, had their roof rail deflectors confiscated during a pre-qualifying inspection on Friday afternoon.

As is standard procedure, NASCAR takes the parts back with them to the greater Charlotte area and its R&D center, where they will be evaluated before announcing any penalties this week.

“We will discuss that this morning,” Sawyer said. “Obviously, that’s not a NextGen certified (spec) part. It’s a team part but it has to meet the CAD drawing and in this case, it didn’t meet that so we will discuss what the next steps are this morning.”

Bayley Currey’s roof falls off

The No. 41 Niece Motorsports truck driven by Bayley Currey had its roof fly off and into a truck driven by Ty Dillon. It began with the windshield buckling and then dislodging.

“We hit a piece of debris early and when that happened, it knocked the left side brace down and there’s so much turbulent air here, trucks moving around and being in the draft,” Currey told Sportsnaut after the race. “It’s start flapping and flapping and it’s like a Coke can, you bend it back and forth, and it’s going to break.

“Basically, the windshield bed separated from the roof, all the braces broke and for about 20 laps, was running with the windshield running on the roll cage.

“I didn’t want to stop because we had a great truck. It was awesome. We could have won the race but it kept getting worse and worse and worse. I could feel the drag getting into the truck, could feel it getting colder inside the truck. It started whistling down the backstretch and I knew it coming.”

How does NASCAR view it?

“We’re taking a much deeper dive into that,” Sawyer said. “Obviously, we saw what happened there and we take that very serious. Fortunately, when the roof came off, it came off in an area that didn’t have fans. That’s the positive. The team here at the R&D center, we’ll look at it and take a much deeper dive.

“We’ve raced at Atlanta. We’ve raced at these speeds at Daytona and Talladega before as well as Atlanta. I’m not 100 percent sure what happened but we will take a much deeper look at what happened and see if there’s any corrections to be made over what happened even as we head with the Trucks to Las Vegas. Not a lot to add to that and should have more answers next week.”

Riggs disqualified

After the race, Layne Riggs was disqualified for windshield fastners that were not secure the entire event. He was officially scored last with no stage points earned.

This is identical to the penalty issued to Kevin Harvick and the SHR No. 4 after Talladega in October.

“Very similar to the Cup penalty last year at Talladega with the 4 car, the fastners basically need to be fastened for the entire event,” Sawyer said. “Post race, several fastners were out and it’s the teams’ responsibility , crew chief and the people that prepare the trucks, to make sure those bolts are tight.

“Sometimes, the bolts you would like to come loose, come loose for reasons you would want them to. Sometimes, the bolts you want to stay tight, stay tight. In this case, these are bolts that came loose, there was some performance there … not saying there was intent there but there was several loose that was consistent with what we have enforced in the past.”

The long Xfinity caution

The final caution of the Xfinity Series race, all in overtime, lasted six laps and ran several cars out of fuel. The caution was for cars running out of fuel. The likes of Jesse Love, Riley Herbst and Parker Kligerman all feel they would have made it if not for the long caution.

However, cars kept running out of gas under yellow.

“For us in the tower, it was longer than we would have wanted but a lot of that was the anxiety of knowing where the teams were in their fuel mileage,” Sawyer said. “If you look at it, we had cars, and the 7 was one of them that really initiated it… you have to go get him and you can’t leave him on pit road.

“As we’re coming to the choose, we had the 92 that was out of fuel and had to go get him. A lot of that was circumstantial. We wanted to get back (green) as soon as possible for what we were dealing with. There is a sequence of events that have to happen, open pit road and things of that nature. We’ll talk about that today to see if we can do anything different .. The way the cards were dealt, we needed to make sure the track was ready and all the cars were off the apron.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter. 

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