Tough news for Austin Dillon.
According to Yahoo Sports, NASCAR announced that Dillon will be penalized 60 points for an illegal underwing assembly.
He also will lose five playoff points if he qualifies for postseason, and his crew chief Keith Rodden was fined $75,000 and will be suspended for two races as well.
This penalty drops Dillon from 21st in points to 29th, and drops his total points to 122 through nine races.
He scored 25 points and finished 12th this past Sunday at Martinsville.
The infraction was discovered when Dillon’s car was taken to NASCAR’s R&D Center after the race for evaluation.
The driver has had only two top-10 finishes this season, finishing ninth at Auto Club Speedway, and third at the Bristol dirt race. He will more than likely have to win a race this season in order to qualify for the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Richard Childress Racing could appeal the penalty, but it won’t change his points penalty even if it’s overturned. Hendrick Motorsports was able to get four 100-point penalties taken away at Phoenix, but was still forced to pay a $400,000 fine.
NASCAR changed the wording in its rule book to prevent appeals panels from taking away points penalties from a punishment if a ruling isn’t completely overturned.
I guess we’ll see if Dillon can overcome this barrier and get a W over the next 17 races. Dillon and company will head to Talladega this weekend to try and make up the points.