Big Blow to Joey Logano, Crew Chief Suspended for Dover and More

Published 05/14/2021, 9:43 AM EDT
WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 06: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series I Love NY 355 at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 6, 2017 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


The NASCAR penalties are coming thick and fast. Earlier, there were reports that Xfinity driver Noah Gragson got disqualified at the Darlington race. Luckily for him, JR Motorsports appealed and got the decision overturned. Now, the NASCAR officials have hauled up Paul Wolfe, crew chief of Penske driver Joey Logano.

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Sadly for Logano, there was no escape and Wolfe received a one-race suspension. It is worth noting that this was not a snap decision, but the result of an accumulation of penalties. After an investigation, the NASCAR officials discovered that the #22 Penske had two of its lug nuts unsecured at Darlington.

Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR driver Joey Logano (22) leads Brad Keselowski (2) and Denny Hamlin (11) during the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As a result, they suspended Wolfe and slapped the team with a $20,000 fine. Many in NASCAR know that a crew chief plays the most important role in a team, so Wolfe’s absence will be felt where it hurts.

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Does Joey Logano have a backup plan for Dover?

On the bright side, Team Penske won’t be completely helpless this weekend. This is because they have roped in engineer Jonathan Hassler as Logano’s interim crew chief. Hassler does have some experience as a crew chief from when he took over for Matt DiBenedetto earlier this year. This was because regular crew chief Greg Irwin tested positive for COVID-19, so traveling was out of the question for him.

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Feb 28, 2021; Homestead, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) leads Brad Keselowski (2) during the Dixie Vodka 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Wolfe is not the only one to suffer a penalty, as a few other crew chiefs were hauled up. One of them was Chris Buescher’s crew chief, Luke Lambert. Lambert copped a $10,000 fine for one unsecured lug nut on the No. 17 Ford. Meanwhile, Bruce Schlicker got a $5,000 fine for one unsecured lug nut on Jeb Burton’s Xfinity car.

Meanwhile, Jason Trinchere and Buddy Sisco also got slapped with $5,000 fines. The affected drivers were A. J. Allmendinger and Tommy Joe Martins, who were lucky not to see their crew chiefs suspended. This just goes to show how strict NASCAR is going to be when enforcing the technical rules.

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Dhruv George

11616 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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