NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi suspended for COVID-19 violation

Feb. 23 (UPI) — NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi has been suspended for one race for a violation of the motorsports company’s COVID-19 protocol, NASCAR announced.

NASCAR officials said Monday that Ganassi received the suspension — and a $30,000 fine — for bringing a “non-essential individual” into the competition area last weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

Ganassi is barred from attending the Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. Chip Ganassi Racing is still permitted to field its two entries at the event — divers Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain.

Ganassi can appeal the penalty.

NASCAR also announced Monday that two Cup Series crew chiefs were fined $10,000 apiece for unsecured lug nuts on the Christopher Bell’s No. 20 Toyota and Brad Keselowski‘s No. 2 Ford, respectively.

Bell won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 last Sunday at Daytona. Busch finished fourth and Chastain finished 39th in the second race of the Cup Series season.

The 2021 Dixie Vodka 400 starts at 3:30 p.m. EST Sunday and airs on Fox. Denny Hamlin won the event in 2020.

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