Clint Bowyer's title hopes hit hard by NASCAR penalties

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Clint Bowyer’s slim shot at winning the Sprint Cup championship in Michael Waltrip Racing’s final season took a huge hit on Wednesday when NASCAR penalized the team for an infraction in the opening playoff race.

NASCAR said the No. 15 team had parts not properly installed on its Toyota in the opening inspection Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. Bowyer was docked 25 points, dropping him to last in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field.

Crew chief Billy Scott was fined $75,000 and suspended for the next three races, and placed on probation for six months.

There are two races remaining in the opening round of the Chase before four drivers will be cut from the field.

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