NASCAR handed down tough penalties on Wednesday to the Penske teams of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. In a separate decision, the organization also handed down penalties to Martin Truex Jr. and Ron Hornaday.
The stiff penalties for the two Penske teams came after they were found to have unapproved suspension systems before Saturday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Both teams saw their crew chiefs, car chiefs, engineers, and competition directors suspended for the next six races, including the upcoming All-Star race in Charlotte, North Carolina. Both crew chiefs, Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon, were also fined $100,000 each for the violations.
In addition to the suspensions and fines, both teams were also docked 25 points in the championship standings — a move that could lead to a completely different season-ender. While Keselowski was moved to fourth place from second, Logano was taken from ninth to 14th place.
Logano’s penalty could ultimately keep the NASCAR driver from being eligible for the Sprint Cup championship.
While both Penske teams were fined severely for unapproved suspension systems, Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief was also penalized after the car failed to meet the minimum height required during post race inspection. Truex lost six driver points and six owner points for the problem.
The driver’s crew chief, Chad Johnston, was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until June 5. Hornaday’s lesser penalty came for wrecking Darrell Wallace Jr. under caution during the truck series race on Sunday. Hornaday received a 25-point penalty and a $25,000 fine.
Keselowski, last year’s Sprint Cup champion, spoke out after NASCAR inspectors forced both Penske cars to make changes to their rear-end housings of the stock cars before Saturday’s race. After the race, the oft-outspoken driver stated, “The things I’ve seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I’m not happy about it.”
Despite his less than kind words toward the racing organization, NASCAR Chairman Brian France assured that the driver of the No. 2 would not be fined for his remarks.
Do you think NASCAR’s penalties against the Penske teams were fair?