Penske is appealing Blaney’s punishment at Bristol

Team Penske is appealing the four-race suspension of the No. 12 members of Ryan Blaney’s team for the tire that went down at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Until the appeal is resolved, the suspensions are stayed. As a result, Blaney’s crew chief Jonathan Hassler, jackman Graham Stoddard, and rear tire changer Zachary Price will be allowed to race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sunday marks the start of the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, where Blaney is still eligible. Blaney started the round seeded eighth.

The left rear tire came off Blaney’s Ford Mustang Saturday night in Bristol. Under the lap 92 caution, Blaney pitted for a flat right front tire. Upon exiting his pit stall, the team realized the tire was not tight, but as Blaney slowed, the tire came off and rolled onto pit road. It rolled into Austin Dillon’s pit stall and apparently knocked the jack off the wall.

The miscue was the start of a long night for Blaney and company. A flat tire damaged Blaney’s car, and he fell several laps. He even went behind the wall for repairs but finished the race and survived to advance to the playoffs.

A tire coming off a car triggers a four-race suspension. There have been 12 Cup Series teams penalized for the infraction this season, and if the appeal is upheld, Blaney’s team will be the 13th.

Over the summer, NASCAR officials began allowing some breaks if a tire went down on pit road. There were drivers who started out of their pit stall and dropped a tire but, if caught quickly, escaped punishment.

After New Hampshire, Blaney’s teammate Austin Cindric was penalized for dropping a tire and rolling on pit road. However, Christopher Bell’s team was not penalized after Atlanta Motor Speedway because NASCAR deemed the tire from the No. 20 cars did not affect others on pit road.

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