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NASCAR hits Matt Kenseth and Joe Gibbs with crushing penalties for illegal Kansas engine

NASCAR hits Matt Kenseth and Joe Gibbs with crushing penalties for illegal Kansas engine

Matt Kenseth gets to keep the Kansas 400 win, but not much else (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


  By Mike Mulhern

   NASCAR officials are going wild this spring handing out penalties, and Kansas 400 winner Matt Kenseth is the latest victim.
   Post-race inspectors didn't like the engine connecting rods that Kenseth had in his engine, when they tore it down at the Concord, N.C., R&D center.
    And NASCAR hit the Kenseth-Joe Gibbs team with a huge, apparently record-setting penalty:
   -- A $200,000 fine;
   -- a six-race suspension for crew chief Jason Ratcliff, and probation till Dec. 31st;
   -- a whopping 50-point penalty, plus loss of Kansas bonus points, for both Kenseth in the driver standings and team owner Gibbs in the owner standings;
   -- the race win will not count toward the 'wild card' playoff spot;
   -- Gibbs himself will have his owner's license suspended for the next six Sprint Cup points events, meaning he and the team will receive no championship points over that span;
   -- Kenseth's Kansas pole will not count toward eligibility in the 2014 Sprint unlimited shootout at Daytona;
   -- And Toyota, which builds the engines at its Los Angeles facility, will lose five points in the manufacturers' championship standings.
   NASCAR's official announcement:
   "The No. 20 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-5.5.3 (E) (Only magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted; connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight) of the 2013 rule book."

   Gibbs issued a brief statement: "It is our understanding that one of the eight connecting rods on the engine was ruled too light. We are working with our partners at TRD on this issue. In the meantime we will plan to appeal the penalty."
   Toyota racing boss Lee White also issues a terse statement:
    "During NASCAR's routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth's race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway, one of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams.  
   "None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight.  
   "We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas -- JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines.  It was a simple oversight on TRD’s part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage.  
   "Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been -- and will continue to be -- to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR."


Gibbs Engine

Maybe NASCAR should also set a penalty against Joe Gibbs Racing Team fans. Maybe not allowing Gibbs fans to watch the first 30 minutes of the next 6 Cup races would be a good penalty. Also Gibbs fans should be fined by NASCAR. They should mail NASCAR around 500 dollars in fan fine money. Also Kenseth/Gibbs race fan supporters should be forced to buy some Jimmy Johnson/Lowe\'s souvenirs. NASCAR should set a limit of over One Hundred Dollars for the Johnson/Lowe\'s souvenirs. NASCAR needs to drop the hammer on Kenseth/Gibbs fans and supporters. Gibbs did the crime, time for the fans to pay the price. Also NASCAR should not allow Gibbs/Kenseth to sale any souvenirs for 6 months. Make the fans pay. There should be a 6 month ban on Kenseth\'s fans betting on NASCAR races. It\'s time that race fans start paying the price for those illegal engines.

Appeal Time

I hope they appeal, and we'll see how the former GM boss will rule now that he has two Ford teams and a Toyota team to judge. I'm going to make a wild guess that neither appeal will be overturned.

two years of damage...

wow, this is as hard a landing as I've ever seen ---- and the ramifications will span not only this year but next with the 6 races of a "parked" car. Nothing Toyota can say or do is going to fix this.

I wonder if there are legal angles to explore by Gibbs against Toyota. Home Depot against Gibbs (not able to fulfill contract)

I see this getting very, very ugly.

Gibbs Pen.

Well, I guess you can cut and paste the article that was never written in regard to the Penske team. Gibbs and Penske what is the diff...interesting to see in the very short future who isn't targeted. All the loons out there cannot deny that "Vanilla Matt" is now a "cheater" like they called the other boys. As an arguement made by the Penske haters..."A cheater is a cheater"...just sayin. Matt you need to give your trophy to Kasey...seriously, if your appeals fail. I do not believe the Nascra p deal about a winner needing to be crowned..crown em' then next day give it to the second place loser.

Penalty for Gibbs

Ok, Nascar means business this year. Isn't it interesting though, that when one of Hendrick's teams gets caught, the penalty is "cut that *#+%* out after the season ends". I see the stands with a few thousand fewer fans now and the TV audience down by a few hundred thousand while Nascar hands another gift to Hendrick.

Two quick thoughts. As I understand it we're

Two quick thoughts. As I understand it we're talking about the weight of two cotton balls here. Does that really warrant the steep penalty? Secondly, if Gibbs has his owners license suspended than why show up and race during the suspension? He can't accumulate points. Bet NASCAR would really love that.

Kenseth Penalty

Contrary to what some chose to believe JGR has not been exactly perfect in its compliance with Nascar's rules.
Who can forget the heavyweight oil pans of a while back. And I believe there have been an occasional minor issue along the way as well.
But the bottom line is it's legal or it's not, and the team is responsible, end of story.
And remember in a spec series you only need a tiny advantage to separate yourself from the pack.

Move on to the next crisis.

NASCAR fines

Teams have been screaming about the difficulty in getting sponsors. Costs are through the roof. Yet NASCAR throws fines that are many times any ever before for infractions that were of no advantage and by accident. That rod was off by less then the weight of 1/10 that of a hot dog. Quote a price. Brian is NUTS!

Kenseth penalty

Nobody is arguing that Gibbs' team (or any other team) has been in 100% compliance, Russ. The issue , as Mike has pointed out several times, is that when one of Hendrick's teams violate the rules, they get a slap on the wrist from Nascar (or their cohort, Mr Middlebrook, during the appeals process), while their main competitors' top teams receive crushing penalties.

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