NASCAR penalized Austin Cindric's crew this Wednesday for losing a wheel during last weekend's Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Shortly after Cindric left his pit stall during the Stage 2 intermission, his left-front wheel detached from his car.
It's no secret that NASCAR's rulebook is quite strict when it comes to improperly installed tires/wheels.
With that said, NASCAR has issued four-race suspensions to crew chief Jeremy Bullins, as well as crew members Curtis Thompson and Patrick Gray.
What's fascinating about this decision is that NASCAR recently decided not to penalize the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for a similar situation.
Elton Sawyer, NASCAR's vice president of officiating, claims that those circumstances were different.
“The amount of speed that the tire is carrying down pit road, did it impede another competitor — all of those things go into the decision-making and obviously the distance that one tire traveled on pit road, the 20 car versus what the 2 car was significantly different,” Sawyer said, via NASCAR. “So although the optics are a loss of wheel on pit road, the two scenarios are quite a bit different. We’ll continue to dissect that and look at it. Again, we don’t want to over-officiate, but tires coming off is a huge safety concern and we just have to make sure that we’re handling that correctly. So we’ll continue to have dialogue internally … but they are two different situations for sure.”