NASCAR levied down a stiff penalty to Richard Petty Motorsports on Wednesday, as Aric Almirola lost 35 driver points and the No. 43 Ford will see their crew chief Drew Blickensderfer suspended three races and fined $65k for the car having too much rear skew. That’s the same penalty that Brad Keselowski had from his car failing inspection at Phoenix.
Almirola, finished fourth in last Sunday’s Geico 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway, as it was his second top five of the season. It was also his second consecutive top 10 finish, as he came home inside the top 10 the week prior at Richmond. He moved up to 17th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, and was only one point out of the final playoff spot. But, with the 35 point penalty, he moves to 20th in the standings and has a lot to overcome the points penalty.
It’s going to be hard to do so without his crew chief for three races too, all three races that are in the playoffs at that. Mix that with RPM being a single-car team now, and you can see that Almirola will be racing without his crew chief for three races, having to make up at least 35 points and do so without a teammate. Furthermore, $65k is a big fine for a single-car team without the resources or funding like that of say Team Penske.
Almirola, has some hard driving to do now over the next three races.