Aric Almirola loses 2 crew members over wheel incident at Phoenix
NASCAR suspended two of Aric Almirola’s crew members for a wheel incident in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway.
Suspensions were given to front tire changer Ryan Mulder and jackman Sean Cotten for violating NASCAR rulebook Sections 18.104.22.168 A&C.
Those sections specify penalties for a loss or separation of an improperly-installed tire or wheel from a vehicle during a race.
On lap 139, Aric Almirola’s right-front wheel broke into several pieces in turn four. Almirola wrecked as his right-front tire broke free and debris littered the track.
Per the rulebook, NASCAR gave Almirola a two-lap penalty but the team protested. They said the incident wasn’t caused by their error. Instead, they argued it was because NASCAR’s provided part broke.
Almirola eventually finished 33rd, four laps down, in Sunday’s United Rentals Work United 500.
The two suspended crew members will return to the track for the April 2 Cup race at Richmond Raceway.
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