NASCAR's Denny Hamlin's Crew Chief Faces 4-Race Suspension for Tungsten Issue

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2020

Denny Hamlin drives during the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Sunday, May 24, 2020, in Concord, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Denny Hamlin's chances of winning Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway were basically gone before the event started, and crew chief Chris Gabehart is reportedly looking at a four-race suspension.

As the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) detailed, a piece of tungsten came off Hamlin's car during the pace laps. That meant he had to return to pit road so it could be put back in place, and he didn't return until eight laps were in the book.

What's more, NASCAR's rules stipulate tungsten coming off a car means a four-race suspension for the crew chief.

The tungsten is added to cars to ensure they make minimum weight for races, but it can be quite dangerous if it becomes loose and flies away from the car.

This was quite the switch of momentum for Hamlin considering he won the Toyota 500 NASCAR Cup Series on Wednesday night at Darlington Raceway. He also won the Daytona 500 in February and sits in fourth place in the 2020 Cup Series standings.

Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports noted Gabehart could be punished Monday or Tuesday considering the NASCAR Cup Series begins again Wednesday in Charlotte.

As for Sunday's race, Kurt Busch was in pole position at the start and had the lead when rain forced a red flag and delay.

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