By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

As expected, Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team was handed a penalty on Wednesday for unsecured lugnuts found at the conclusion of last Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway.

Following his fifth place finish in the Toyota/Save Mart 350, two lugnuts were found to be improperly installed on Busch’s Toyota, bringing with it a one race suspension and a $20,000 fine for interim crew chief Ben Beshore.

Beshore has been serving as Busch’s crew chief for the past three weeks as his normal crew chief, Adam Stevens, is still serving a four-race suspension of his own as a result of losing a wheel at Dover in early June. With the penalty for Beshore, the team will now be looking for their third crew chief in the last month for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway as this weekend marks the final race that Stevens will have to serve his penalty.

As of now, Joe Gibbs Racing has not noted whether they will appeal the penalty or who would take Beshore’s place if they elect not to.

The No. 18 team enters Daytona still looking for their first win of the season at a track where Busch has one win (2008), seven top-five finishes, eight top-10 finishes, one pole, 382 laps led, and an average finish of 18.4 in 24 starts.

After Sunday’s race at Sonoma, Busch seemed to know that a penalty would be coming by mid-week and kept a sense of humor about it on social media.



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