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NASCAR suspends Kyle Larson’s crew chief

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For the third time in the past four Sprint Cup points races, a crew chief has been suspended for a lug nut violation.

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Chad Johnston, who helms Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet, was suspended through June 15 by NASCAR for a missing lug nut after Monday’s Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway. That will sideline Johnston this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, where the Sprint Cup Series will race Sunday.

A spokesman for Chip Ganassi Racing said the team won’t appeal the penalty. The team hasn’t announced an interim crew chief.

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Johnston also was placed on probation through Dec. 31 and fined $20,000. He became the fourth crew chief suspended under the new lug nut policy that was implemented for the May 1 race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Adam Stevens, crew chief for Kyle Busch, missed the Dover International Speedway weekend after Busch’s winning Toyota at Kansas Speedway was ruled to have violated the rule. Last week at Pocono Raceway, Tony Gibson (Kurt Busch) and Randall Burnett (A.J. Allmendinger) were absent for violations discovered after the Coca-Cola 600. Busch won at Pocono with interim crew chief Johnny Klausmeier in place of Gibson.

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