A breakdown of the chain of events that led to Busch’s penalty from Sunday in Richmond

Kyle Busch rebounded to finish 9th in last Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 from the Richmond Raceway. However, the finish was destined to be better if not for a late race penalty for tape on the front end of his No. 18 Toyota.

See, tape isn’t allowed anymore on the front of these new Next Gen race cars. That’s something everyone was made aware of this offseason, but was also an adjustment too because tape on the grille was something that teams elected to do at various times throughout the race before.

Now, you just simply can’t do it. Hell, prior to Sunday, I didn’t even know that was a rule either.

This could have honestly been an oversight by the JGR team, who by the way, broke a NASCAR record for the fastest pit stop ever during the race too.

But, in saying that, some are wondering if the penalty was justified to begin with. Luckily, Brad Moran of NASCAR laid out the timeline on Tuesday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio in full transparency.

He said that they found that Busch’s crew put the tape on the grille on the Lap 128 stop. The tower didn’t notice it until Lap 234 though when the tower was notified by an official on pit road.

That’s all because following the end of the second stage, all the lead lap cars pit on Lap 233. The pit road official noticed it then and alerted his higher ups a lap later. At that point, the officials had to do a video review to see if it – 1. was on the car, 2. how did it get there and 3. when did it get there.

The thing is, lap times at Richmond are very quick. You can clock off multiple laps in a minute. NASCAR wanted to do their due diligence once they saw that the tape was there and be sure that it wasn’t there as part of debris. You can’t penalize them for debris not of their doing. So, you had to go back multiple stops to see how it was there.

When they found the stop, they called for a penalty. The thing was, it was so late in the race that it essentially took them out of race winning contention now. Busch, was posted after Lap 340 and hit pit lane on Lap 350 to serve the penalty.

Basically, race over. The fairness is called into question in a sense that if he knew way before that, the team could have pulled the tape off on a stop prior or even if he did get a penalty, it would have given them enough time to rebound from it.

I mean he went from a lap down to a top 10 in the final stint, so he could have maybe gotten further up if he served his penalty sooner.

Should there be a grace period that you have a certain amount of time on the clock or a certain amount of laps to get penalized and if it’s past that time you have to let it go? Is that fair to the competitors?

Still, the process was nearly 200 laps in the distance before it was served and that’s too long.

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