Two weeks ago, the No. 98 truck of Ty Majeski had to serve a significant penalty during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the Milwaukee Mile. During pre-race inspection, officials discovered that Majeski’s valve stem caps were illegal as per NASCAR’s rules; the No. 98 lost its crew chief for the weekend, it lost points, and Majeski had to serve a drive-through penalty during the race. NASCAR is using it as an educational experience.
Last week, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series posted a video on social media where Seth Kramlich, managing director of the Trucks series, laid out the details of just where Majeski’s right rear valve stem cap went wrong — and it’s fascinating.
Basically, as the illegal cap was tightened, it could release air from the tires. Tire pressure manipulation is illegal as per NASCAR’s rulebook, and the No. 98 crew was issued an L2 penalty. That means Majeski’s crew chief was suspended for four races and fined $25,000, Majeski had to serve a drive-through penalty during the race, the driver lost 75 points and five playoff points, and his team was docked 75 owner points.
The coolest part is the fact that NASCAR has been really transparent about technical infringements like this, to the point where it will show off illegal parts to other teams and post them on social media.
One of motorsport’s long running jokes is that it’s a competition of who can fudge the rules the best, and while Majeski’s crew gave it the good ol’ college try, they came up short. But it’s still cool to see the ways current NASCAR teams are trying to find a competitive advantage — and to have officials acknowledge the ingenuity.
You can check out a video from journalist Bob Pockrass as well, which shows Kramlich’s presentation from a different angle: