Concord, NC (Sports Network) - Penske Racing lost its appeal on Wednesday to
overturn severe penalties assessed by NASCAR to Brad Keselowski's No. 2 team
and Joey Logano's No. 22 team for illegal parts found on their cars earlier
this month at Texas Motor Speedway.
Penske's appeal was heard by the three-member National Stock Car Racing
Appeals Panel. The hearing began at 9 a.m. ET at NASCAR's Research and
Development Center in Concord. The members on the panel included former NASCAR
executive Paul Brooks, Pocono Raceway President and CEO Brandon Igdalsky and
Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis.
"Based upon on these discussions here today, the panel has unanimously decided
to uphold the original penalties that were assessed by NASCAR on April 17,"
NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said shortly after the hearing had concluded.
The penalty included seven members from Penske receiving suspensions from
competition and a loss of 25 points for both Keselowski and Logano. Roger
Penske, who is listed as the owner of the No. 2 car, and Walt Czarnecki, the
owner of the No. 22 car, were also docked 25 points.
Paul Wolfe, who is the crew chief for the No. 2 team, was suspended six
points-paying races, as well as the May 18 Sprint All-Star event, and placed
on probation until Dec. 31. Wolfe also received a $100,000 fine.
Keselowski's car chief, Jerry Kelley, team engineer, Brian Wilson, and team
manager Travis Geisler, who also serves as team manager for the No. 2, were
suspended for the next six races as well.
Logano's crew chief, Todd Gordon, received the same penalties as Wolfe. Car
chief Raymond Fox and team engineer Samuel Stanley were also suspended for the
next six races.
Penske said his racing organization will make a final appeal to National Stock
Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, who is a former General
Motors executive. The date for that hearing has yet to be scheduled.
"Obviously, it was a disappointing outcome with the panel," Penske said. "We
met with the panel for probably over four or five hours. It was a good
process. I feel that we have a good case, and as we are allowed to under the
NASCAR rules book, we're going to appeal this to the next level. We've already
notified NASCAR that we will go ahead and appeal this ruling today."
All suspended members from Penske will be allowed to participate in this
weekend's race activities at Talladega Superspeedway.
When NASCAR announced the penalties, it noted the No. 2 and No. 22 cars "were
found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20-12 (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)."
The violations on both cars were discovered during inspection prior to the
start of the April 13 race at Texas.
The Sports Network