The No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Chase Elliott was disqualified Sunday for having five loose lug nuts in post-race inspection at Nashville Superspeedway.
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Elliott had driven the car to a 13th-place finish in the Ally 400, NASCAR’s first Cup Series race at the 1.33-mile track in Tennessee. As a result of the penalty, Elliott’s car was scored in last place. Elliott also lost the Stage 1 win, which went to Kurt Busch in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet instead.
Elliott’s teammate, Kyle Larson, won the race for his third consecutive victory while Hendrick teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman finished in third place and 14th place, respectively. Bowman moved up from 15th place as a result of Elliott’s penalty.
“It‘s unfortunate. The lug nuts on the No. 9 were loose at the end of the race,” said Chad Knaus, vice president of competition for Hendrick Motorsports. “At the end of the race Chase had a vibration. There were quite a few tire issues through the course of the day so they were hopeful that it was just a cord or something in the tire that was creating the vibration so they chose to run the race out.”
The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr. was also found to have one loose lug nut in post-race inspection, which usually results in a fine for the crew chief.
Multiple loose lug nuts like for Elliott usually result in a fine and a crew chief suspension when the penalty report comes out later in the week.