Four drivers and teams found not only their pockets lighter, but also their points bank as a result of infractions one week ago at the Texas Motor Speedway and Rockingham Speedways.
First up was Ron Hornaday, Jr. who was penalized for crashing Darrell Wallace, Jr. during caution at Rockingham. He was found in violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing). He was fined $25,000, docked 25 driver points and put on probation until June 12th.
I was a bit surprised, but not much, that Hornaday was not parked during the race last week immediately. I’m not surprised that he was not suspended, but this is hardly a message to discourage that kind of action in the future. I feel when it comes to confrontations, NASCAR does nothing until it is painfully obvious they need to step in (see Keselowski v. Edwards).
Hornaday was outraged when Kyle Busch pulled the same stunt on him in 2011, yet saw no wrong in doing the same in 2013. Interesting how views change on which vehicle you are in.
NTS Motorsports and Hornaday will not appeal the penalties.
Martin Truex, Jr. was the next driver penalized, his car was found to be too low during post-race inspection from Texas. He was in violation for Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the even does not conform to NASCAR rules), and 20-12.8.1B (the car failed to meet minimum front car heights during post-race inspection).
As a result he was docket six driver points, six owner points, and his crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $25,000 and put on probation until June 5th.
This was a pretty standard NASCAR reaction to this sort of infection. Michael Waltrip Racing will not appeal the penalty.
The biggest penalties were levied against Penske Racing and their two teams of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Both had problems with the rear gear, as they had to swap them out right before the race. The rules violated were:
Violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the even does not conform to NASCAR rules), and 20-12 (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 normal rotation or suspension travel.)
Crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Logano) have been fined $100,00 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (including the All-Star Race), and is on probation until Dec. 31st.
Car chiefs Jerry Kelley (Keselowski) and Raymond Fox (Logano), team engineers Brian Wilson (Keselowski) and Samuel Stanley (Logano), along with team manager Travis Geisler have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races (including the All-Star Race), and is on probation until Dec. 31st.
Drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have been docket 25 championship points.
Listed owners Roger Penske (Keselowski) and Walt Czamecki (Logano) were docket 25 championship points.
Penske Racing has issued a statement saying they will appeal the penalties.
My reaction is that NASCAR is making Penske Racing as an example that no modifications will be tolerated at all. I think it was a bit (well, ton) harsh because they were exploring a gray area in the books with the new car. My thinking is that the appeal will yield some results, shortened suspensions maybe a few less points taken, but not a total reduction in the penalties.