Penske continues to next step of appeals process

Penske Racing’s No. 2 and No. 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams lost their appeal in front of the National Stock Car Racing Appellate Committee on Wednesday, resulting in their penalties — including the six-race suspension of several team members, including crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (No. 2) and Todd Gordon (22) — being upheld, but Wolfe and Gordon, along with the other suspended team members will be on duty when the circuit heads to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the May 5 running of the Aaron’s 499.

NASCAR officials didn’t like what they saw in regards to the rear ends on the two cars during pre-race inspections at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, resulting in heavy penalties for both teams.

Team owner Roger Penske has one appeal option remaining — making his case to Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook — and he plans to make that appeal. As a result, penalties will be deferred until Middlebrook hears Penske’s case.

“I can’t make any comments, it’s clear we have a process and I’m better off to wait to see that conclude,” Penske said. “All I can say about the process is it’s fair and equitable. We had an opportunity to explain our case in detail. We will move onto the next step.”

Until the appeal is heard and decided upon by Middlebrook, Wolfe will remain in place at Brad Keselowski’s crew chief and Gordon will remain in his position as Joey Logano’s crew chief.

Below, is the full rundown of the rules for which the Penske teams were found to be in violation during pre-race inspections at Texas Motor Speedway in April, and the penalties handed down for the violations:

Crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (2) and Todd Gordon (22) were each fined $100,000, suspended from six Sprint Cup points-paying events and placed on NASCAR probation for the remainder of the year. Car chiefs Jerry Kelley (2) and Raymond Fox (22), team engineers Brian Wilson (2) and Samuel Stanley (22) and team manager Travis Geiser were also suspended for six races and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

Drivers Brad Keselowski (2) and Joey Logano (22) were each penalized 25 driver points and team owner Roger Penske was docked 25 owner points for each of the entries.

Both the No. 2 and No. 22 entries were found to be in violation of sections 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4J (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event) 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 component normal rotation or suspension travel) of the 2013 NASCAR rule book.

The issue in question was remedied prior to the race at Texas. None of the team members listed above have begun their suspensions, as the punishments were deferred until the appeal. Penske Racing still has one penalty appeal option remaining. The organization has the option of making its case to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.

– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR

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Tags: Brad Keselowski Joey Logano NASCAR Paul Wolfe Penske Racing Todd Gordon

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