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Hendrick Motorsports names interim crew chief lineup amid penalties

Hendrick Motorsports named the interim crew chief lineup who will oversee their four NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the next four races.

Cliff Daniels, Blake Harris, Alan Gustafson and Rudy Fugle will be replaced by Kevin Meendering, Greg Ives, Tom Gray and Brian Campe, respectively. They’ll oversee Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, Josh Berry and William Byron.

Last year, Meendering also filled in for Cliff Daniels when he was suspended for four races. In 2019, he was also Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief for 21 races.

Ives was Bowman’s crew chief last year before stepping down and elevating Harris to the role.

Gray is the primary race engineer for the No. 9 team. Berry will work with him in his four races, except COTA where Jordan Taylor will drive the No. 9, instead.

Campe is the organization’s technical director and former director of performance development.

NASCAR suspended the four regular crew chiefs over “unapproved parts modifications.”

The sanctioning body confiscated their hood louvers during Friday practice at Phoenix Raceway. After an R&D Center inspection, they gave massive penalties to HMS and Kaulig Racing, whose louvers were confiscated Saturday.

Like HMS, Kaulig Racing’s No. 31 team was penalized 100 driver/owner points and 100 driver/owner playoff points. Crew chief Trent Owens was also suspended for four races and fined $100,000.

Kaulig and HMS plan to appeal the penalties. However, it appears Kaulig won’t defer the crew chief suspensions as Owens is listed as Haley’s crew chief.

Kaulig Racing is expected to make a statement on the penalties Thursday.

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