NASCAR on Wednesday issued a significant P6 penalty against defending K&N Pro Series East championship team DGR-Crosley for violating the league’s preseason testing policy.
Both the No. 17 team, which is co-owned by former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland, and driver Ty Gibbs, the 16-year-old grandson of Cup team owner Joe Gibbs, were penalized for taking part in a private test last on January 14 at New Smyrna Speedway.
NASCAR rules prohibit private tests at sanctioned tracks that are part of the 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule, such as New Smyrna, which will host the season-opener on Feb. 10.
The team, through a statement issued to Autoweek says the track time was actually an ARCA Racing Series test, and not one for its K&N program. The two divisions have many similarities, are on the same spec body and feature radial tires. However, ARCA doesn’t race at New Smyrna.
“This afternoon NASCAR made us aware of a penalty they are imposing for actions that occurred during an ARCA Racing Series test on January 14. We strongly believe that we did not violate any rules and will therefore appeal the penalty immediately. While the appeals process runs its course, we will move forward and keep our focus on the upcoming season.”
Pending the appeal, Gilliland and Gibbs have both been suspended for three races and have each been docked 100 owner or driver championship points. Car chief Chad Walters has been suspended indefinitely. In addition, Gilliland, Gibbs and Walters have been fined $5,000 apiece.
Reigning NHRA Pro Stock champion Tanner Gray is scheduled to drive for DGR-Crosley full-time in the K&N Pro Series East this season. However, this penalty would not affect his driver points standing. If Gray were to drive the No. 17 this season, he would start the season with zero points but the entry would start with -100 owner points.