Ryan Newman’s hopes of qualifying for the Chase took a hit Wednesday when NASCAR docked him 15 championship points for failing postrace inspection Sunday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
Newman, who finished eighth in the Southern 500, had drawn to within seven points of Jamie McMurray for the 16th and final spot in the Chase. He’s now 22 points behind McMurray entering Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, the final race in the regular season. Unless he wins at Richmond, Newman would need to finish at least 22 places ahead of McMurray to make the Chase, instead of a more manageable seven spots.
Newman, who hasn’t won since taking the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis in 2013, has advanced to the Chase in each of the past three seasons.
Newman’s crew chief Luke Lambert was also fined $25,000.
Kyle Larson, who has already clinched a spot in the Chase, was also penalized 15 points for failing postrace inspection at Darlington, and crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $22,500.
Also, driver Ryan Blaney was fined $1,000 for not wearing gloves during practice at Darlington.
Truck series drivers John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer were not penalized for their altercation after the race Saturday in Canada.