Newman's title chances take hit following NASCAR penalty

Larson is already locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by virtue of his victory 10 days ago at Michigan International Speedway. Larson is locked into the Chase by virtue of his recent victory at MI, but Newman is trying to get in on points and any resulting penalties could jeopardize that with just one race remaining this Saturday at Richmond International Raceway before the 16-driver Chase field is set.

Newman's team was penalized 10 points in March after NASCAR determined his vehicle had illegal right-rear corner brackets. Unless he wins at Richmond, Newman would need to finish at least 22 places ahead of McMurray to make the Chase, instead of a more manageable seven points.

In addition to the points deduction, crew chief Luke Lambert was fined $25,000.

Larson's auto wasn't as out of compliance of rear toe (skew) as Newman's, and Larson would have had a 10-point, $15,000 fine penalty if not for an earlier penalty this year for missing lug nuts. Drivers get a three-point bonus for winning a race, a point for leading a lap and another point for leading the most laps in a given race. That deficit to McMurray is now 22 points after the penalty. He was penalized 10 points at Atlanta, meaning he's lost 25 points to penalties this year.

Newman, who hasn't won a race since Indianapolis in 2013, has advanced to the Chase in each of the past three seasons. It's also important to note that this isn't Newman's first penalty of the season.

Also, driver Ryan Blaney was fined $1,000 for not wearing gloves during practice at Darlington.

NASCAR did not fine Cole Custer for tackling race-winner John Hunter Nemechek after Nemechek had bumped him twice and crashed into him coming to the checkered flag in the Camping World Truck Series race Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

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