Crewmember suspensions were issued to the No. 3 NASCAR Chevy team of driver Austin Dillon following a loose wheel incident at Texas Motor Speedway on September 24th, 2023.
On Lap 42, the right rear wheel separated from the No. 3 Chevy Camaro ZL1, causing Dillon to spin out and back the race car into the outside retaining wall. The race car was severely damaged and was towed, unable to continue. Dillon was ultimately credited with a 36th-place finish, or dead last, as the first car out of the event.
As outlined by Section 184.108.40.206.C in the NASCAR Rule Book (Tires and Wheels), which specifically refers to “loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle during the event,” two crewmembers were suspended from the No. 3 NASCAR Chevy team. Jackman Josh Sobecki and rear tire changer Michael Johnson will be unable to compete in the next two Cup Series events at Talladega on October 1st, 2023 and the Charlotte Roval on October 8th.
Prior to the 2023 racing season, a loose wheel meant a four-race suspension for the offending team’s crew chief. However, NASCAR revised its penalty structure for the safety violation ahead of this season, and now implements two-race suspensions for pit crew members, while the crew chief is not affected at all.
Additionally, should a wheel detach from a race car under green flag conditions, the team will receive a pass-through penalty during the race. If it occurs under a caution period, the team will be forced to start at the tail-end of the field.
It’s worth noting that the No. 51 Ford Mustang of Todd Gilliland also had a wheel separate during the Cup Series race. Two crewmembers were suspended from this team. The No. 27 Chevy Camaro of Jeb Burton, which competes in the Xfinity Series, was also hit with suspensions due to a loose wheel after Texas.