On Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR RaceHub on SPEED, it was reported that they did not know the extent of the penalties that would be levied against Penske Racing after their rear-end housings were confiscated prior to the NRA 500. However, they did report that the penalties would be “severe.”
They were not wrong.
On Wednesday, NASCAR dropped the hammer on both of Penske Racing’s Fords. Both the No. 2 and No. 22 teams were docked 25 driver’s and 25 owners’ points each. In addition, both teams’ crew chiefs (Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon) have been fined $100,000 each. Finally, the crew chiefs, car chiefs (Jerry Kelley and Raymond Fox) and head engineers (Brian Wilson and Samuel Stanley), in addition to Travis Geisler, who serves as a team manager for both teams, have been suspended for six weeks. Finally, all seven team members will be placed on probation until the end of the year. For the sake of this penal action, NASCAR does not count the Sprint All-Star Race as a race since no points are awarded. As a result, the suspension is actually seven weeks.
In their release, NASCAR stated that both teams violated multiple sections of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. The sections cited were Section 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing), 12-4J (Determination by a NASCAR official that parts and/or equipment do not conform to NASCAR rules), and 20-12. Section 20-12 states, “All suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted, in a completed form/assembly, to the office of the NASCAR Competition Administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond normal rotation or suspension travel.”
Penske Racing announced via their Facebook page that they will appeal the ruling using the appropriate process. As a result, the seven suspended crewmembers will be at the track this weekend in Kansas.
If the penalty is upheld after the appeal, Keselowski will drop from second, nine points behind Jimmie Johnson to fourth, 34 points back.
Truex Docked Points for Measurement Violation
At the same time that NASCAR dropped the hammer on Penske Racing, they also announced penalties against the No. 56 team. After Saturday night’s NRA 500, Martin Truex, Jr.‘s No. 56 measured too low in the front end in post-race inspection.
As a result, NASCAR has docked the No. 56 team six driver points and six owner points. Crew chief Chad Johnston has been fined $25,000 and will be placed on probation for the next six points races.
In their explanation, NASCAR cited that the team violated a couple of sections of the aforementioned rulebook. Those were Sections 12-1, 12-4J and 20-12.8.1B (Failing to meet the minimum height requirement during post-race inspection).
Following the announcement, Michael Waltrip Racing released a statement.
“Michael Waltrip Racing is sensitive to working within the guidelines of NASCAR policy. This infraction clearly occurred as a result of a malfunction caused by race conditions. Therefore, we will not appeal. We thank NASCAR for providing a fair and equitable platform for all of its competitors and respect its decisions.”
Prior to the penalty, Truex was in a three-way tie for 16th in points with Ryan Newman and Marcos Ambrose, 37 points out of tenth. As a result of the penalty, Truex drops to 19th, 43 points out of tenth.
Hornaday Penalized for Intentional Contact with Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Also on Wednesday, NASCAR announced penalties against Camping World Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday, Jr. However, unlike those penalties levied against Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Martin Truex, Jr., this penalty came as a result of on-track behavior.
Late in Sunday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at the Rock presented by Cheerwine, Hornaday appeared unhappy with the way that Wallace was racing him. After an unrelated caution flew late in the race, Hornaday intended to give Wallace a message. The result was that Wallace was turned into the Turn 3 wall and had to drop out of the race. At the time, Hornaday was sent to the end of the line for the green-white-checker restart. He would eventually finish 15th. After the race, Hornaday admitted that it was a stupid move.
That was not enough to satisfy NASCAR.
NASCAR dropped the hammer on Hornaday, fining him $25,000 and docking him 25 driver points. Hornaday was also placed on probation until June 12, which covers the next four races. In their explanation, NASCAR stated that Hornaday violated only Section 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) of the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rule Book.
After Hornaday’s 15th-place finish on Sunday, he was fourth in points, 30 points behind Johnny Sauter. The penalty drops Hornaday back to 13th in the standings, 55 points behind.
NTS Motorsports announced on their Facebook page that they support NASCAR’s ruling and penalties. They also stated that they will not appeal Hornaday’s penalties.
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