NASCAR Details Timeline Behind Kyle Busch Penalty

A piece of tape was accidentally placed over the grille instead of the brake duct.


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Update: NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director Brad Moran took to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to explain the decision to penalize Kyle Busch for the improper use of tape during the race at Richmond Raceway on Sunday.

“We certainly needed to do our due diligence on how it got there, what it really was,” Moran told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “So we went back while the race was going on and did our due diligence to ensure, first of all, that the team placed the tape on the grille area.

“We did go back, found footage, found what we needed to say, yes, the team actually put it on. Unfortunately, they had a couple of stops, which they could have pulled it off and we probably wouldn’t even be talking about it today. That didn’t happen.

“We got notification around Lap 234 and it took a bit of time, obviously a lot of green-flag racing at a three-quarter mile track. It takes a while to pull all of that up and we do our due diligence.

“The last thing we’re going to do is bring a vehicle down and find out later that it was something picked up off the track or they grabbed it on pit road or something to that fact. Once everything was sorted out, we did see how it happened and where it was and the crew chief was notified that it has to be removed.”

Kyle Busch was running fourth with 49 laps to go on Sunday in the Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway when NASCAR gave him a black flag to come down pit road and remove a piece of tape from the grille of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry.

The piece of tape was accidentally placed on the grille instead of the brake cooling duct, which is no longer permitted on the Next Gen car for aerodynamic reasons, but crew chief Ben Beshore didn’t like the process in which his team was penalized.

The No. 18 team placed the piece of tape on the grille during a pit stop on Lap 126, and the penalty wasn’t called until 225 laps afterwards.

Beshore told a group of reporters after the race that he told NASCAR in real time after the mistake was made.

"We missed putting brake tape on and that’s what happened," Beshore said. "I didn’t think it would stick, to be honest. I thought it would fall off and it wouldn’t be a problem because the grilles are…wire and big fat openings. I figured as soon as we went and pushed somebody it would fly right off. "

Beshore assumed a penalty wasn’t coming after so much time had passed. The team had four pit stops after that but assuming a penalty call was no longer on the table, Beshore didn’t instruct his over-the-wall crew to remove it.

That’s where team owner Joe Gibbs took exception to the penalty as well.

"If that was a penalty, then address it," Gibbs said during the post-race press conference. "It wasn’t until [at least] two stops later, so I think that’s our concern. That would completely change their strategy. That will be something we will discuss [with NASCAR] and go on."

Busch took four tires when he served the black flag to remove the piece of tape. He was on the same strategy as William Byron, who finished third, so the penalty most likely did not cost him a win. Busch ultimately rallied to finish ninth with their fresh rubber over the final 50 laps.