Justin Allgaier likely will be without crew chief Jason Burdett for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship race next week after NASCAR found his car had an unattached brake cooling hose following the race Saturday at Phoenix. A NASCAR spokesman said it likely will be a minimum "L1" penalty, which is 10 points (Allgaier made the playoffs by 30 points) and a one-race suspension to the crew chief along with a $10,000 fine. NASCAR will expedite any appeals.(11-12-2017)
UPDATE: Following the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix Raceway, the #7 team has been penalized for a violation of Section 188.8.131.52 of the NASCAR rules book: Rear Brake Cooling Assembly I-1b. I-1c. I-2d. I-2f. Notes: Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes. Rear brake cooling assemblies must be sealed from air inlet to exhaust. Crew chief (Jason Burdett) has been fined $10,000 and suspended from the next NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship Points Event. Team assessed with the loss of 10 driver points and 10 owner points.(NASCAR)(11-13-2017)
UPDATE 2: The team will not appeal the penalty.(11-14-2017)
UPDATE 3: JR Motorsports today named veteran car chief Billy Wilburn as crew chief of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team for this Saturday's season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway as driver Justin Allgaier vies for the NASCAR Xfinity Series title.
Wilburn, who has served as car chief with the No. 7 team for the past four seasons, will step into the role normally occupied by Jason Burdett. Burdett is serving a one-race suspension after the #7 car did not clear post-race inspection at Phoenix Raceway. JR Motorsports elected not to appeal the NASCAR-announced penalty on Monday.
"We're fortunate to be in a position where we have such a strong support staff at JR Motorsports," said general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. "There are a number of talented individuals that could fill this role, but ultimately it makes the most sense to utilize Billy in this capacity. He's an experienced leader, well-respected, and has a detailed knowledge of this team. We're lucky to have him and are completely confident in the team's abilities this weekend."
Allgaier is one of four drivers eligible to compete for the NXS title as part of the Championship 4 this weekend, which also includes JR Motorsports teammates William Byron, Elliott Sadler, and Richard Childress Racing's Daniel Hemric. Allgaier is in championship contention on the strength of two wins (Phoenix Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway), 10 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in 32 starts this season.
Wilburn is a native of Tempe, Ariz., and is a 33-year motorsports veteran. He previously held crew chief roles at Penske Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Robert Yates Racing, and has also served in various positions with Hendrick Motorsports.
--- JR Motorsports ---