Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teams Ready to Fight Stiff Penalties; Penske Racing to Appeal Sanctions against Keselowski, Logano Wednesday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Teams Ready to Fight Stiff Penalties; Penske Racing to Appeal Sanctions against Keselowski, Logano Wednesday

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Coble

Penske Racing will have its day in NASCAR's court Wednesday when it appeals sanctions levied against teams for Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano for illegal rear-end housing parts.

Matt Kenseth's team will face its own three-person panel a week later when it argues against penalties for an illegal engine part.

All three teams will argue their infractions weren't intentional. All three will argue their illegal parts passed earlier inspections. All three will argue the penalties were too severe.

And all three know they are probably arguing in vain.

Cars for Keselowski and Logano were caught with bolts that allowed for some movement in the rear-end housing. One of NASCAR's new rules for the new Generation-6 car mandated a fixed rear end.

Their penalties were the loss of 25 points each, $100,000 fines and six-race suspensions for their crew chiefs, lead engineers and car chiefs.

Car owner Roger Penske admitted his team operated "in the gray area." But when it comes to enforcing the rules for the new car, NASCAR said there are no gray areas. It's black and white.

There were extra crewmen working for Keselowski and Logano at last Saturday's race at Richmond so they are better able to work in relief if their appeals fail.

Keselowski doesn't hold much hope with the appeal.

"My hopes are obviously that it gets 100 percent repealed," he said. "That's my hope. But, realistically, I would say that's probably not going to happen, so I'm just going to stand by and watch and let Roger and his guys figure it out."

There have been 146 appeals since 1999. Of those, only 11 were overturned.

Kenseth's penalty was the most severe in NASCAR history. One of the engine connecting rods was too light by nearly three grams - the weight of a penny - after he won the April 21 race at the Kansas Speedway.

Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended for six races, while Kenseth was docked 50 points. Car owner Joe Gibbs also was suspended for six races and he won't be allowed to collect any car owner points while he's away.

Their appeal on May 8 will focus on Toyota Racing Development's engine program. …

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