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John Middlebrook reduces Penske suspensions

John Middlebrook reduces Penske suspensions

Brad Keselowski's Paul Wolfe (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   John Middlebrook, stock car racing's final appeals judge, rejected stringent suspensions on key crewmen for Roger Penske's two drivers, defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski and new teammate Joey Logano, in an anxiously awaited opinion issued Tuesday afternoon.
   Middlebrook cut the suspensions on seven Penske crewmen from the original six points races to two races, but he upheld the $200,000 in fines and 25-point penalties.
   That means Keselowski and Logano will both be back with full crews for the June 2nd Dover 400.
   Paul Wolfe, Keselowski's crew chief, and Todd Gordon, Logano's crew chief, will thus be sidelined for this weekend's Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C., next week's All-Star race, and the May 26th Charlotte 600.
   Middlebrook, the long-time General Motors executive who has served three years as the NASCAR-appointed 'National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer,' was ruling on penalties assessed for what NASCAR officials called unapproved changes to the rear ends by the two Ford teams at Texas Motor Speedway April 13th.
  "After looking at all the facts and data and interpretations from the rule book, I have decided to uphold the original fines and points penalties," Middlebrook said. "However, I have decided to reduce the suspensions of the seven team members involved from six points races and the all-star race to two points races and the all-star race."
    The crucial rule that NASCAR officials said Penske's men violated at Texas:
   "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 component normal rotation or suspension travel."
     Wolfe, Gordon, Jerry Kelley, Brian Wilson, Travis Geisler, Raymond Fox, and Samuel Stanley are the crewmen suspended.


   For years John Middlebrook (L, here with Richard Petty) was a top General Motors executive (Photo: GM Racing)

No Surprise Here

Felonious Rick is smiling. His team got away with it last year with no point loss, and now Penske's penalties are upheld. Did anyone think that the GM exec was going to overturn a Ford team's penalty? The laughing stock that is NASCAR continues.

Nascar has a double standard .They want to know

Nascar has a double standard .They want to know every piece on a car ahead of time before you try it. Now if penske has a new device they have developed and they take it to the r and d center for approval then nascar can pick up the ph and call gibbs or hms and say penske just came by and we allowed this part so here is how and why they are doing it!Here is how they built it and why it works.

Nascar can't even police themselves now.There is no set fine for doing anything; it's just what ever they feel like at the moment.Denny hamlin says the cars are behind last yrs and he's docked 25 grand.Tony stewart goes off on national tv then tries to attack logano for something he is known for and they do nothing.BK takes a pic and tweets it and is fined.Newman goes off Sun and no penalty.Poor Carl Long gets fined for having a virtual wore out engine that comes up .0005 to big and still can't race, while hendrick gets caught with a illegal c pillar with no fine at all but 1 for chad.

Now today before nascars ruling on gibbs happens. i'd be willing to bet that gibbs penality will be reduced to 2 races and the fines stay the same.They will resend gibbs point penalty along with it i'll bet.I hate toyota and the way they do business but the 1 rod being lite did nothing for performance just like carl long's .0005 cylinder walls being big on one.
Its pretty easy nascar if the motor is wrong take the win away and a hefty fine and no points just like they never showed up.Done deal and everyone knows ahead of time what to expect.Get caught 10th with a big motor bam no money no points. Why be rewarded for cheating .Does a victory lane celebration mean that much to nascar even though the team cheated to win.Nascar has a double standard they need to fix right there.

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