|Danica Patrick out $20,000|
Patrick was fined $20,000, placed on NASCAR probation for the next four Sprint Cup Series point-counting races for approaching the hot race track in the aftermath of a crash during Sunday’s Auto Club 400. Patrick climbed from her heavily damaged racer and walked onto the apron of the track to gesture at Kasey Kahne, after Kahne turned her into the outside retaining wall.
Patrick’s penalty was identical to the one assessed to Trevor Bayne for violating the same rule last season at Dover.
Busch, meanwhile, was fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four Sprint Cup Series races for failing to honor mandatory post-race pit road and Media Center obligations following Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
|Kyle Busch docked $10,000|
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was angry over a non-call on the final lap of the race, when his No. 18 Toyota blew a left-front tire while leading. Race officials chose not to throw a caution flag – which would have ended the race with Busch the winner – prompting his to decline all post-race media interviews.
Busch also made a series of comments critical of NASCAR on his in-car radio immediately following the checkered flag, saying, “Debris all over the race track and they don’t throw a yellow. I’m just so pleased with you NASCAR. Thanks. Y’all are awesome. Fixing races.” He was not sanctioned by NASCAR for those comments, despite a section in NASCAR’s new 2016 Code of Conduct that calls for fines of $10,000 to $50,000 and/or probation for comments disparaging the sport and/or NASCAR's leadership.
Busch’s fine is the first assessed by NASCAR for failing to honor media commitments since 2007, when former series champion Tony Stewart was sanctioned for a similar post-race violation.
In addition to the Patrick and Busch penalties, NASCAR assessed written warnings to six Sprint Cup Series teams. The No. 19 and No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing teams, along with the No. 3 and No. 27 teams fielded by Richard Childress Racing and the No. 21 Wood Brother Racing team received warnings for various pre-qualifying and pre-race body template and Laser Inspection Station violations. The No. 95 Circle Sport/Leavine Family Racing entry received a written warning for a rear trailing arm that did not meet specifications.