Two appeals were heard this week in NASCAR and both resulted in the penalties being drastically reduced. One set of appeals was heard by the first panel, and the other was heard by chief appellate officer John Middlebrook.
The Penske Racing teams of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were penalized after their issues in pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13th. NASCAR suspended the crew chiefs, car chiefs and lead engineers for both teams. They also penalized them 25 drivers/owners points. The penalties came as a result of perceived issues with the rear-end housings on both cars.
Matt Kenseth's team was penalized following the race at the Kansas Speedway. One connecting rod in the engine was too light. Kenseth's crew chief Jason Ratcliff was suspended for six races and fined $200,000. Kenseth lost 50 points, his race win at Kansas wasn't allowed to count for bonus points for the Chase. And Joe Gibbs wasn't allowed to earn owner's points for the 20 team.
But the penalties for all three teams have been drastically reduced.
For the Penske teams, the fines still stand as do the points penalties, but the suspensions were reduced from six points races to two races. Starting this week in Darlington the 2 and 22 teams will be without three key members, but they'll have them back at Dover in June.
Kenseth's penalty reductions were even greater. The points penalty was reduced from 50 points to 12. The win can now count for Chase bonus points. His crew chief will now only be suspended for Darlington rather than the next six points races. Though his $200K fine still stands. And Joe Gibbs is no longer suspended and is allowed to earn owner's points for the 20 car.