Why NASCAR handed Joey Logano a $10,000 fine over his gloves at Atlanta Motor Speedway

When NASCAR penalized Joey Logano on Sunday before the start of the Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, it was just getting started. And it’s all because officials noticed his racing gloves looked a little differently than they should.

Prior to the green flag for the Ambetter Health 400, NASCAR officials sent Logano — who qualified second on Saturday — to the rear of the field to start the race and required him to pass through pit road on the first lap. He ultimately placed 28th, behind Daniel Suárez’s wild three-wide finish to win.

But then Tuesday, the governing body announced in its penalty report a $10,000 fine against the No. 22 Team Penske Ford driver. It may seem like a steep price for gloves, but’s not much of a surprise and NASCAR’s penalty report notes it’s a safety issue, in addition to a competition one.

Joey Logano will drop to the back from the front row to start today’s race and serve a pass-through after a penalty for a glove worn during qualifying. @mikejoy500 explains: pic.twitter.com/2aby3z9ubN

— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 25, 2024

So why exactly did Logano’s gloves draw these penalties?

Simply, NASCAR rules dictate that drivers’ protective gloves must meet certain approved specifications — both to keep drivers safe and so they can’t make modifications to try to create a particular advantage over the field. Sunday at Atlanta, Logano’s left-hand glove was modified and included webbing between the thumb and index finger when NASCAR rules note that “gloves shall have separate sections for each finger and thumb.”

More via NBC Sports:

Logano’s glove was webbed between the thumb and forefinger so when he stuck it out the window during his qualifying run last weekend it could create an aerodynamic advantage.

Could additional penalties be handed out for @joeylogano’s illegal glove at @ATLMotorSpdwy?#NASCAR’s Elton Sawyer weighs in ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/GwGeacnb6r

— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) February 27, 2024

NASCAR senior vice president of competition, Elton Sawyer, weighed in on the issue on Tuesday, prior to the governing body officially dishing out the fine. Sawyer told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio:

“If you just take exactly what happened at the race track from a competition perspective and trying to enhance the performance on the race track, we see time and time again at superspeedways and other events where drivers will stick their hand out the window. That’s not something that we’ve been all that alarmed about.

“When you take it to the level that you have modified some of the safety equipment, gloves in particular, and then using that — so the penalty at the race track was based off that. So we disallowed the qualifying time, put [Logano] at the back and then also had them perform a pass-through penalty under green.

“Now, the next step of that is when you look at safety equipment. And we look at this very hard. We take it very seriously. There’s been numerous meetings over time about safety of the car and the equipment and the drivers. And when you take and alter that, that will be something that we would discuss today, if it needs to have [an] additional penalty added to that.”

Well, clearly NASCAR decided the gloves warranted an additional penalty, which wasn’t really surprising.

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