NASCAR driver, team could be issued points penalties

Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The #51 team and Cody Ware could be issued points penalties following their inspection issues ahead of Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series qualifying session at Sonoma Raceway.

Multiple penalties were issued to the #51 Rick Ware Racing team on Saturday afternoon, as the #51 Ford of Cody Ware failed technical inspection four times at Sonoma Raceway ahead of the qualifying session for Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race.

Ware was not allowed to post a qualifying lap during Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session for Sunday’s 110-lap Toyota/Save Mart 350 around the 12-turn, 1.99-mile (3.203-kilometer) road course in Sonoma, California.

As a result, Ware is set to start Sunday’s race in 36th (last) place, and once the green flag flies, he must serve a pass-through penalty at the soonest opportunity. Engineer Steve Gray has also been ejected for the rest of the weekend.

Because of the fourth failure, there could be additional penalties announced in the coming week’s penalty report, and those penalties could include points deductions for Ware and/or the #51 team, fines, and/or suspensions from the team’s roster.

According to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, the potential points penalty would likely be a 10-point penalty.

Ware already sits in 32nd place in the point standings with 133 points, lowest among full-time drivers by a gap he probably isn’t going to close. Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie sits 49 points ahead of Ware in 31st with 182.

However, the penalty would really hurt the #51 team, which sits in 35th in the owner standings, second lowest among the 36 charter teams. If a 10-point penalty is indeed issued to the team, they would sit just six points ahead of the #78 Live Fast Motorsports team.

A finish outside of the top 33 in the owner standings is something that all charter teams want to avoid, as finishing between 34th and 36th place for three straight seasons gives NASCAR the right to repossess that team’s charter. Without a 10-point penalty, the #51 team sits just 12 points out of the top 33.

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Tune in to Fox Sports 1 at 4:00 p.m. ET this afternoon for the live broadcast of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 from Sonoma Raceway. If you haven’t yet had the chance to do so, start your free trial of FuboTV today!