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via Getty

via Getty

On Tuesday, May 14, NASCAR released its weekly penalty report following this past weekend’s races at Darlington Raceway. While the NASCAR Cup Series teams came out clean with no infractions, Dale Earnhardt Jr‘s #1 JR Motorsports NASCAR Xfinity Series team and its driver, Sam Mayer, weren’t as lucky. The team received an L1-level penalty for violating ‘Sections 14.3.1.4 A: Inspection Re-Certification‘ as per the NASCAR Rule Book. Besides that, there were also a couple of penalties handed out by NASCAR to other Truck Series teams.

Sam Mayer faces a significant point loss

NASCAR handed down the penalty to Sam Mayer after finding that his team made modifications to the car that required it to undergo a recertification process. This is the specific rule JR Motorsports broke, Any and all chassis that have been repaired, modified, and/or changed, unless otherwise permitted in Section 14.3.1.6.2.6 Non-Major Repairs, or that have an expired inspection certification must be presented for inspection re-certification prior to being entered or used at an event.”

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As a result, Sam Mayer and his team were docked 10 championship driver and owner points. Additionally, Mayer’s crew chief, Mardy Lindley, was hit with a $10,000 fine and suspended for the next NASCAR Xfinity Series championship event at Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend. The 10-point deduction is going to bump Mayer down from P11 to P12 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship driver standings, although he has already secured a spot in the playoffs thanks to his win at Texas Motor Speedway.

However, Mayer’s #1 team wasn’t the only one penalized this time aroundTwo crew members in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series also faced suspensions this weekend. Jerick Newsome, a rear changer for both Zane Smith‘s #71 Spire Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team and Nick Sanchez’s #2 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team, along with Marcus Horton, a tire carrier for Matt Crafton’s #88 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team, won’t be allowed to compete this weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

 

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It wasn’t all bad news in the report. NASCAR’s announcement included some good news, declaring the reinstatement of Austin Dillon’s pit crew member who had been under indefinite suspension since April.

NASCAR reinstates Austin Dillon’s pit crew member

Nicholas Covey, who served as the jackman for Austin Dillon‘s #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet up to the April 7 race at Martinsville Speedway, faced suspension shortly after. Covey, a former linebacker at Nebraska from 2005 to 2009, was suspended indefinitely under Sections 4.1 & 10.1.A of the NASCAR rule book due to incidents during the Martinsville race.

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The specifics of the suspension weren’t disclosed, leaving questions about whether it involved narcotics, stimulants, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, performance enhancers, sleep aids, beta-blockers, or alcohol. But as per the latest updates, Covey has now been reinstated. Under NASCAR’s strict anti-doping rules, a positive test for a banned substance can lead to an indefinite suspension.

It’s likely that the RCR crew chief got help guiding through NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program, which includes a comprehensive plan approved by authorities involving treatment, rehab, counseling, and preventative steps to avoid future incidents. Following this recovery path laid out by NASCAR has likely paved the way for Covey’s return to pit road.