Ryan Newman finished eighth in the Southern 500 Sunday night, leaving Darlington Raceway seven points behind Jamie McMurray for the final transfer spot to make NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup.
But Newman could find himself facing a larger deficit entering Saturday's regular season finale at Richmond International Raceway, as his car failed postrace technical inspection on Sunday. As Newman's car, along with that of third-place finisher Kyle Larson, both exceeded measurements when going thru the Laser Inspection Station platform.
NASCAR typically penalizes a team 10 to 15 points for such an infraction (Brad Keselowski's team was docked 10 points last week for a similar offense). And though Larson is assured a Chase berth having won this season, thus rendering any points penalty inconsequential, the winless Newman needs every point he can gain to qualify for the playoffs.
Any sanctions would be announced on Wednesday, but could be moved to Tuesday to accommodate Richard Childress Racing filing an appeal.
Newman's team was penalized 10 points in March after NASCAR determined his car had illegal right-rear corner brackets. Because it is a repeat offender, NASCAR could escalate any penalties.