NASCAR has suspended and fined Cup Series team owner Chip Ganassi for a violation of COVID-19 protocol Sunday at the Daytona International Speedway road course, host of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.
Ganassi was fined $30,000 and suspended for one race after bringing a guest into a restricted area at Daytona. The suspension will prohibit from entering areas requiring credentials for Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He will, however, be able to watch the race from a suite or the track’s grandstands with a paid ticket.
Car owners were not allowed in the garage and pit areas of race tracks on NASCAR race weekends in 2020 after coronavirus restrictions were put in place. Last year, owners only were allowed in suites at tracks. Those restrictions were loosened to allow owners into garage/pit areas, but other non-essential personnel still are prohibited from those areas.
Ganassi has declined opportunities to comment.
Ganassi’s penalties will not affect his race teams, the #1 of Kurt Busch and the #42 of Ross Chastain. They will compete at Homestead without penalties related to Ganassi’s rule violation.
NASCAR also issued $10,000 fines to two crew chiefs after the Daytona road-course race for improperly secured lug nuts — Adam Stevens, crew chief on the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing team of race winner Christopher Bell, and Jeremy Bullins, crew chief on the #2 Team Penske team of fifth-place finisher Brad Keselowski.