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NASCAR confiscates part from 2 teams
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FORT WORTH, TexasNASCAR confiscated the lower radiator pans from Max Papis’ No. 13 and Marcos Ambrose’s No. 47 during post-qualifying Sprint Cup Series inspection.
The pans are considered “unapproved ballast weight mounting” according to Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby and is in violation of NASCAR Rule 20-2.3 (added car weight). Darby said the violation could carry a penalty.
Teams have worked extensively to make the cars as light as possible in order to advantageously place weight on the car. Moving the ballast offers more front weight percentage and lowers the center of gravity on the car to offer more grip.
NASCAR allows team to run ballast boxes on the swaybar tube but mounting the weight behind the splitter and underneath the radiator could become a safety issue.
The piece confiscated on the No. 13 Toyota was 45.2-pounds, while the No. 47 Toyota’s pan weighed 25.7 pounds. One crew chief who was observing the steel pieces in the NASCAR hauler after they were confiscated said the pans “should weigh a couple of pounds at best” and be composed of one-eighth inch aluminum.
Frank Kerr, crew chief of the No. 47 Toyota said it was the same radiator pan the team has used all season.
“We asked the inspectors when we first put it on the car at California if it was ‘OK’ and they said it was ‘on the edge, but OK.’ There hasn’t been any question about the piece until now.”
Marcos Ambrose, who is currently 24th in points, qualified the No. 47 Toyota 32nd. Papis qualified the No. 13 Toyota 27th and is 38th in the standings.