Two Penske crew members suspended for loose wheel

Two Penske crew members suspended for loose wheel

NASCAR on Tuesday suspended tire changer Keiston France and jackman Patrick Gray – who both serve on the pit crew of Cindric’s No. 2 Ford team – for the next two races, this weekend at Darlington, S.C., and next weekend’s All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Both were suspended and found in violation of “Safety Sections & C: Loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle. Note: Loss of tire/wheel during the event.”

While running just inside the top 20 in Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway, Cindric hit the wall and lost a wheel on Lap 108, which forced NASCAR to put the race under caution.

Cindric was assessed a two-lap penalty at the time of the incident.

Had the incident taken place last year, Cindric’s crew chief would have served a four-race suspension, but NASCAR altered the rules for 2023 regarding loose wheel penalties.

Fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe also had a wheel get loose during Sunday’s race, but it was on pit road while the race was under caution. He was assessed a penalty for an uncontrolled tire and had to restart from the rear of the field.

Cindric, 24, who kicked off his rookie year in 2022 by winning the Daytona 500, has struggled in his sophomore season. He is currently 21st in the series standings with a pair of top-10 finishes in the first 12 races.

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