Two members of the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports team are serving a two-race ban after traveling to Martinsville Speedway. The reason is a lost wheel during the April 16 NASCAR Cup Series race.
The incident happened in the closing stages. Anthony Alfredo hit the wall with an apparent problem on the #78 Chevrolet Camaro. FOX Sports cameras then showed a hoop sitting next to the wall. This eventually brought out the caution as Alfredo hobbled back to his box.
As part of the new rules for the 2023 season, that lost wheel means automatic suspensions for two crew members that NASCAR will name in its weekly penalty report. You will miss the next two points-paying events which will be held at Talladega Superspeedway and Dover Motor Speedway. Although the crew chief does not have to serve a sentence like others did in 2022.
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Alfredo lost a crucial position on the track at Martinsville Speedway
The two-race suspension isn’t the only penalty for losing a tire on track. Alfredo and the No. 78 team also served a suspension during the race that caused him to lose several places.
A change for the 2023 season is that teams that lose tires on track will have to serve a two-lap penalty. Such was the case for Alfredo as he stayed in his pits after getting a new tire on the right side of the #78 Chevrolet Camaro.
This penalty, combined with several other factors, resulted in Alfredo falling 10 laps behind the leaders in the final stage. This dropped him to 36th in the running order, but he moved up to 35th after JJ Yeley suffered a puncture and crashed out of the race.
Alfredo returned to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023 on a part-time schedule. He first joined Live Fast Motorsports at Richmond Raceway as he made his first Cup start since the 2021 season and he finished 33rd overall. Alfredo then returned to racing at Martinsville Speedway where he lost a tire.
Alfredo’s Live Fast plan should be complete
The trip to Martinsville Speedway marked Alfredo’s second Cup Series start of the 2023 season. It was set to complete its part-time schedule with Live Fast Motorsports based on an earlier announcement.
On March 9, Live Fast Motorsports announced that Alfredo would take over the #78 Chevrolet Camaro for two events in 2023. The team only listed Richmond Raceway in the original announcement, but added Martinsville Speedway after the trip to Bristol Motor Speedway.
Alfredo will now focus solely on the NASCAR Xfinity Series after his two starts in the Cup Series. After eight races with BJ McLeod Motorsports he is currently 18th overall and needs to move up six places to secure a place in the playoffs.
Achieving this feat will not be an easy task for the No. 78 team, but there are some favorable stretches on the schedule. Talladega Superspeedway is next, and it’s a track where Alfredo previously had two top 10 finishes with two different teams. Most recently, he was sixth in 2022 with Our Motorsports.