Joe Gibbs Racing scored a stunning victory on Wednesday when a three-member committee from the National Stock Car Appeals Panel greatly reduced penalties levied by NASCAR against the team for an engine issue found in Matt Kenseth's car after he won at Kansas Speedway on April 21.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff had his suspension cut to one race and the driver and car owner points fines were reduced from 50 to 12 each. A $200,000 fine against Ratcliff remains intact. All other penalties against Ratcliff, JGR and Kenseth were completely rescinded. Kenseth now moves from 12th to fifth in Sprint Cup points.
The ruling was a huge victory for Joe Gibbs Racing and was NASCAR's second defeat in two days, as on Tuesday an appeal sharply reduced penalties against Penske Racing for illegal suspension modifications.
After the Kansas race, one of eight connecting rods in Kenseth's engine was found to be about 3 grams below the NASCAR-mandated minimum weight of 525 grams. The engine was assembled b...