Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman Pay a Hefty Price for Exceeding Engine Allocation

Published 07/25/2021, 5:54 PM EDT
May 16, 2021; Dover, Delaware, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman (48) leads the field on a late restart during the Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports


After the Cup race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsports team got into trouble. As it turns out, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott picked up L1-level penalties at the race. Apparently, the two Hendrick drivers incurred engine-allocation infractions at New Hampshire.

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To be precise, the #9 and #48 cars seemingly violated Section 20.6.1.e in the NASCAR Rule Book. This rule largely centers around the cars’ engine assembly. According to the report, the driver must use the same engine for the next race if the long block is sealed.

After the investigation, both parties incurred 25-point deductions in the driver and team owner standings. Other punishments include $50,000 fines for crew chiefs Alan Gustafson and Greg Ives. Finally, executive vice president and general manager Jeff Andrews and director of track engine support Scott Maxim faced one-race suspensions.

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How did Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman’s team respond?

As per a Hendrick Motorsports statement, “Due to an administrative error, one of our sealed engines assigned to the No. 9 car was unintentionally allocated to our No. 48 team at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Although the engine passed technical inspection and absolutely no competitive advantage was gained, we acknowledge NASCAR’s process was not followed correctly in this instance.

“The rules regarding the assignment of sealed engines are clear, and we understand and respect their decision to issue a penalty. We apologize for the mistake and have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated.”

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Owing to the point deduction, Elliott has tumbled down from fifth to sixth in the Cup Series standings. Admittedly, Bowman is still sitting in 11th place in the championship, so the point loss has not hit him as hard.

Jun 20, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) races into turn one during the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly, Hendrick Motorsports has been in excellent form, with 10 wins this season.

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To make matters even better, all four of its drivers are sitting pretty in top 10 and have qualified for the playoffs. Among them, Kyle Larson leads the quartet and boasts of four victories this season. Bowman has notched up three, with Elliott on two and William Byron on one solitary win. Now, poor old Bowman and Elliott will have to compete at Watkins Glen without a few key personnel.

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Dhruv George

12012 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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