The Frontstretch: Penske Racing LOSES Penalty Case, Will Appeal To NSCRC John Middlebrook by Thomas Bowles -- Wednesday May 1, 2013

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A three-member panel Wednesday unanimously upheld penalties assessed to Penske Racing after pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway. Comprised of Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky, Bowman-Gray President Dale Pinilis and former NASCAR VP Paul Brooks, the trio determined the sanctioning body’s evidence was enough to “convict” Penske to the tune of points lost, suspensions given and $200,000 in fines.

Roger Penske, in response has pledged to send a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Commissioner John Middlebrook. That hearing will occur Tuesday, May 7th at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. Here’s a quick list of what penalties are pending (everything but the points deductions will be deferred, pending Middlebrook’s approval until after the final appeal):

No. 2 team
25 driver points lost (Brad Keselowski)
25 owner points lost (Roger Penske)
Six-race suspension for crew chief Paul Wolfe (plus the All-Star Race)
Six-race suspension for car chief Jerry Kelley (plus the All-Star Race)
Six-race suspension for team engineer Brian Wilson (plus the All-Star Race)
$100,000 fine (assessed to Wolfe)

No. 22 team
25 driver points lost (Joey Logano)
25 owner points lost (Roger Penske)
Six-race suspension for crew chief Todd Gordon (plus the All-Star Race)
Six-race suspension for car chief Raymond Fox III (plus the All-Star Race)
Six-race suspension for team engineer Samuel Stanley (plus the All-Star Race)
$100,000 fine (assessed to Gordon)

Both teams
Six-race suspension for team manager Travis Geisler (plus the All-Star Race)
Probation for all suspended crew members through December 31st

NASCAR’s representation included Sprint Cup Director John Darby but not Vice President Robin Pemberton, who was whisked away to Florida on jury duty. Owner Roger Penske was in attendance to defend the allegations along with Team Manager Travis Geisler, Tim Cindric, Walt Czarnecki, Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon along with several other key principles.

UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Commission issued a brief statement, reviewing the penalties and then explaining the following.

“Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.”

“The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.”

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05/01/2013 04:18 PM

Results as expected? Yes. Is it right? Not by a long shot. Will anything change in the final appeal? Very doubtful.
As seen elsewhere, the snickering you hear in the background is coming from Chad Knaus.

05/02/2013 08:14 AM

We will see what kind of integrity Mr. Middlebrook has. He rescinded similar penalties to the 48 team last year. Will he do the same for the Penske teams and upset Mr Hendrick, or will he keep with the good ole boys network. I’m not getting excited at Penske’s chances.