Entering this weekend’s STP 400 at the Kansas Speedway, the teammates at Penske Racing will be in a big hole.
Both Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano had their cars fail pre-race inspection at Texas last weekend, and teams were forced to change the rear-end housings and their mounting components in order to pass through inspection and race. On Wednesday, NASCAR hammered down both teams for violations, the first of their kind for the new Gen-6 race car.
Both Keselowski and Logano were docked 25 driver points, with owner Roger Penske losing 25 owner points for each driver as well.
Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Keselowski, and Todd Gordon, crew chief for Logano, have each been hit with a $100,000 fine and have been suspended for the next six Sprint Cup events, which includes the non-points Sprint All-Star Race. In addition, car chief Jerry Kelley, team engineer Brian Wilson (both for Keselowski), car chief Raymond Fox, team engineer Samuel Stanley (both for Logano), and Penske competition director Travis Geisler, who oversees all the operations at the track for Penske Racing, are also suspended for the same amount of time.
All Penske personnel are now on probation until Dec. 31.
Penske Racing has released that they will appeal the penalties, which will allow the team personnel to be at the track while the appeal is being heard. However, the points penalties are already in effect, which dropped Keselowski from second in points down to fifth.
The rear-end housings, and all such components including the mounting hardware, were confiscated at Texas.
NASCAR said both cars were in violation of rules which mandate that suspension systems and components must be approved by the sanctioning body. Should such systems and components be deemed ineligible for competition, they cannot be used after that ruling, and also stipulate what parts can be made of magnetic steel, the correct size of the round mounting holes, and limitations on movement or realignment of suspension parts beyond normal rotation and travel.