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NASCAR: Alliance now at 18 Cup teams

The recently formed Race Team Alliance has doubled its its membership to 18 full-time Sprint Cup teams, RTA chairman Rob Kauffman said Wednesday.

The RTA was formed in July as a coalition of owners to help improve efficiency and cut costs in NASCAR.

“One of the early goals of the (RTA) was to expand our membership and after only a month of existence, we’ve accomplished that goal,” said Kauffman. “We now have virtually all the full-time teams participating. I think the membership as a whole is enthusiastic to get to work on some of the other items on our agenda, in particular cost areas and marketing opportunities.”

Notes

• NASCAR fined Rodney Childers, the crew chief of Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Chevy, $25,000 Wednesday for a weight violation during Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

The extra weight likely came from “bean bag” ballasts used to simulate driver weight that were left in Harvick’s car after pre-race inspection. Harvick said over the team’s radio that the bean bags rolled out from under his seat early in the race, forcing him to make an unscheduled pit stop. Harvick finished seventh.

Also, NASCAR issued a warning to Josh Wise’s No. 98 team for a rules infraction involving fuel-filler cans at Watkins Glen. The rule states that when adding or removing fuel to or from a car, it must be outside the garage.

• Martin Truex Jr. will miss Friday’s Sprint Cup practice and qualifying at Michigan International Speedway to be with his girlfriend, Sherry Pollex, as she begins treatment for ovarian cancer. Matt Crafton will substitute for Truex, who will rejoin his Furniture Row Racing team on Saturday in time to compete in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

“Everyone at Furniture Row Racing extends their thoughts and prayers to Sherry during her treatment and recover period,” Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said in a statement. “She is a devoted supporter of our race team and we can’t wait for her return to the track.”

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