Chip Ganassi Racing Owner Suspended for Homestead-Miami as NASCAR Announces Penalties for Daytona Race

Published 02/23/2021, 8:10 AM EST
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 27: Team owner Chip Ganassi looks on as drivers perpare on Carb Day ahead of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motorspeedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


Although Chip Ganassi Racing had a fairly decent outing at the Daytona Road Course, a bit of bad news has now come about for the team. Following Sunday’s race, NASCAR found team owner Chip Ganassi in violation of the requisite COVID-19 protocols.

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As a result, the 62-year-old will now face a one-race suspension pending any appeal, and hence, cannot attend the upcoming event at Homestead-Miami. In addition, he would also have to pay a fine of $30,000.

A statement on the official NASCAR website reads, “Ganassi violated Section 12.8.1.b of the NASCAR Rule Book, a subsection of the member conduct guidelines that includes compliance with COVID-19 event procedures.”

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NASCAR also fined crew chief of Christopher Bell $10,000 for an ‘unsecured lug nut’

“Officials said that Ganassi’s penalty was “for bringing into the competition area a non-essential individual that was restricted from the footprint,”” concluded the statement.

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) celebrates winning the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain will still compete in the race, and the penalty does not extend to the rest of the team. The former had earlier ensured a good event for CGR after securing fourth in the tricky road course race.

Elsewhere, race winner Bell’s crew chief, Adam Stevens, has been fined $10,000. NASCAR’s post-race inspection on the No.20 Toyota revealed an unsecured lug nut, which led to the consequent penalty.

Chip Ganassi Racing had a mixed day at the office in the Daytona Road Course race

Driving the No.1 in full speed, Busch led the pack with around 32 laps to go. But having faced a lock-up, he spun off the track and lost out on the lead. Despite that, Busch clawed back to claim a fourth in a very impressive effort.

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Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (1) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chastain meanwhile was also gunning for a Top 10 finish, before he crashed into the side barrier and ended his hopes. But whilst he finished 39th, he will have taken pride in his overall display after previously securing seventh in the Daytona 500.

Therefore, CGR seems in good touch and would look forward to the next race. They will also look to ensure that this latest bit of news does not dampen their enthusiastic spirits.

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MORE – Kyle Larson Explains What Cost Him a “Great Chance to Win” NASCAR Race at Daytona Road Course

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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