Depressing News for Jeff Gordon as $550,000 Fines Bring Hendrick Motorsports Closer Than Ever to Debt as Last Year’s Finances Revealed

Published 04/08/2023, 5:24 PM EDT

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How soon is too soon for history to repeat itself? Let’s ask Hendrick Motorsports. After all, it was just last month that NASCAR levied L-2 penalties on all four of HMS‘s cars. And now, the governing body has handed down another $150,000 and a suspension fine to the team for a similar infraction—giving rise to speculations of the team going down the road of bankruptcy and debt.

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After the race at Richmond Raceway on Sunday, Alex Bowman’s and William Byron‘s cars were found to be in violation of NASCAR’s Rule Book. Citing that the team made unauthorized changes to the greenhouse to accommodate a windshield motor pipe, the governing body found the team to be in violation of Sections 14.1.D, 14.1.2B, and 14.5.6B.

Taking into account the $400,000 penalties from earlier, HMS has been fined a total of $550,000 this season. This, in conjunction with HMS’s failure to turn a profit last season has raised speculations in the community.

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Jeff Gordon triggered a bankruptcy scare

When it comes to managing the financial aspects of owning a NASCAR team, things might not be as smooth as they seem. Although the drivers and their cars are always adorned with the logos of big (sometimes even multinational) sponsors, the amount of money actually earned per season may not be what many expect.

In fact, last year, NASCAR team owners boycotted a meeting with the governing body to showcase their dissent with the “broken financial model” of the sport. Moreover, four team representatives including Jeff Gordon, Dave Alpern, Steve Newmark, and Curtis Polk gathered a small group of reporters to express their dissatisfaction with the economic model.

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During that conversation, Hendrick Motorsports Vice Chairman Jeff Gordon revealed that the powerhouse organization did not turn a profit during the 2022 season. Taking Gordon’s previous statement in conjunction with the current financial liability in terms of fines, NASCAR writer Austin Konenski wrote on Twitter, “[…] this is not going to help the situation for them.”

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Hendrick Motorsports reacts to the news of the penalty

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Last month, HMS was penalized with $400,000, 100 drivers’ and owners’ points, 10 Playoff points, and four crew chief suspensions for making unwarranted changes to its hood louvers. However, the team argued that the changes were made due to ill-fitting parts supplied by NASCAR’s single-source supplier.

Having challenged the decision, the team was successful in getting the points penalties rescinded. However, the Appeals Panel upheld the monetary and suspension penalties. This time around, the team has not shared much information about their next steps. HMS issued a statement saying, “We are reviewing the penalties issued today by NASCAR and will determine next steps following Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.”

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Owing to the points penalties issued by NASCAR, HMS driver Alex Bowman has now slid down to the seventh position from first. Whereas, William Byron is now in the 14th position in the points table.

WATCH THIS STORY: Amid $400,000 Battle, Hendrick Motorsports Boss Jeff Gordon Exposes the Entire Grid While Questioning NASCAR’s 2022 Daytona 500 Hypocrisy

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Written by:

Devyani Sharma

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Devyani Sharma is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. Having completed her postgrad in English Literature, she has worked as a content writer for a while now. With over three years of experience in the field and hundreds of articles published on the web, Devyani has now associated with EssentiallySports to start her journey in the world of sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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