Cody Ware and the #51 Rick Ware Racing team have been issued points penalties following the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway.
Prior to Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session for Sunday afternoon’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, the #51 Ford of Rick Ware Racing’s Cody Ware failed technical inspection four times.
This meant that Ware was not allowed to post a qualifying lap around the 12-turn, 1.99-mile (3.203-kilometer) road course in Sonoma, California.
As a result, he started the 110-lap race in 36th (last) place and had to serve a pass-through penalty after the green flag flew. Engineer Steve Gray was also ejected as a result of the multiple failures.
Now Ware and the #51 team have been hit with hefty points penalties.
The penalties were expected to be 10-point penalties, but they ended up being twice that for both driver and team. Ware was docked 20 points in the driver standings, and the #51 team was docked 20 points in the owner standings.
The penalty didn’t impact Ware much himself. He still sits in 32nd place in points, worst among full-time drivers, but with 119 points instead of 139. He now sits 66 points behind Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie for 31st, and he sits just 15 points ahead of Live Fast Motorsports’ B.J. McLeod in 33rd.
As for the #51 team, the penalty was much more significant. Prior to the penalty, the team sat in 35th place in the owner standings with 139 points, 22 points outside of the top 33.
The significance of the top 33 is that if a team finishes in the bottom three (34th through 36th place) in the owner standings among the charter teams for three straight seasons, NASCAR reserves the right to repossess that team’s charter.
The #15 Rick Ware Racing team sits in 33rd place with 161 points, four points ahead of the #77 Spire Motorsports team in 34th with 157.
Following the penalty, the #51 team now ranks 36th (last) in the owner standings with 119 points, putting it 42 points outside the top 33. It now trails the #78 Live Fast Motorsports team by two points for 35th place.