Biggest controversies of 2015: There were plenty in Sprint Cup
NASCAR came down hard on driver Ryan Newman (left) and crew chief Luke Lambert (right) in March for altering tires. Newman and team owner Richard Childress were each docked 75 championship points in the driver and owners' points standings, while Lambert was suspended for six races, fined $125,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
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9. Failure to finish in Phoenix
A rain delay of nearly seven hours turned the next-to-last Chase race at Phoenix into a nightmare. Worse yet, fans and competitors alike howled in protest when NASCAR eventually ruled the results were official when rain came again with 93 laps still remaining.
NASCAR via Getty ImagesRobert Laberge
8. Restart rules
After a number of controversial restarts, the one that forced NASCAR's hand to extend the restart zone came after Brad Keselowski was black-flagged for jumping a restart at New Hampshire. A furious Keselowski said of getting black-flagged: "It's an entertainment sport, not a fair sport. ... "
Getty ImagesJared C. Tilton
7. Jimmie wrecks Jimmy John's car
After the No. 48 car of Jimmie Johnson made contact with the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick and caused Harvick to spin at Chicagoland, Johnson tried to approach Harvick in the motorhome lot to apologize. Harvick responded by punching Johnson in the chest.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
6. Kyle ruled eligible for Chase
Kyle Busch (center) could not have hoisted the Sprint Cup championship tropy at season's end if NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France (far right) hadn't first granted Busch a waiver to make it possible for Busch to make the Chase after missing the season's first 11 races because of leg and foot injuries. Some disagreed with the decision.
Getty ImagesChris Graythen
5. Austin Dillon goes airborne
Less than five months after Busch suffered his injuries in an XFINITY Series race at Daytona, the question of safety at restrictor-plate tracks was raised again when Austin Dillon's No. 3 Chevy went airborne in a last-lap wreck in the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona in July.
Getty ImagesPatrick Smith
4. Harvick hacks off half the field
2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick had plenty of explaining to do after he appeared to deliberately cause a wreck during a late restart at Talladega in October, essentially taking out other Chase contenders while keeping himself eligible for defense of his title.
Getty ImagesJerry Markland
3. Kyle's crash raises questions
Kyle Busch had to be loaded into an ambulance after crashing into a wall at Daytona that was unprotected during the season-opening XFINITY race. It raised more questions about safety concerns, forcing several tracks to rush to make more improvements.
TNS via Getty ImagesOrlando Sentinel
2. Kenseth-Logano, Round 1 at Kansas
Matt Kenseth was furious with Joey Logano after Logano took out the race leader and went on to win the Chase race at Kansas in October. It was the start of a feud that would carry over and have implications for the rest of the Chase.
Getty ImagesTodd Warshaw
Kenseth-Logano, Round 2 at Martinsville
Kenseth exacted his revenge on Logano at Martinsville, deliberately taking out the No. 22 Team Penske Ford while Logano was leading the November race. Kenseth was nine laps down at the time.