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Penalty hurts Elliott's title chances

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Chase Elliott suffered a setback to his championship hopes when NASCAR penalized his Hendrick Motorsports team Tuesday for a modification to his Chevrolet in the opening round of the playoffs.

The aerodynamic modification was found in post-race inspection following Elliott's second-place finish on Sunday at Chicagoland. The finish is now considered "encumbered" by NASCAR and Elliott does not keep a playoff point he earned with a stage victory at Chicagoland.

Crew chief Alan Gustafson was fined $25,000 and suspended one race, and car chief Joshua Kirk also was suspended one race. The team was docked 15 driver points and 15 owner points.

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NASCAR Leaders: Points
RankDriverPointsWins
1 M.Truex Jr. 2102 5
2 K.Larson 2075 4
3 K.Harvick 2067 1
4 B.Keselowski 2061 2
5 K.Busch 2061 2
6 C.Elliott 2059 0
7 D.Hamlin 2058 2
8 J.Johnson 2046 3
9 M.Kenseth 2039 0
10 R.Blaney 2034 1
11 J.McMurray 2031 0
12 A.Dillon 2026 1
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