Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski saw his Nationwide Series points lead shrink from 60 points to 10 points over Kevin Harvick after two 25-point penalties for having an unapproved left-front spring and an unapproved right-front shock in the car that he drove to victory Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR announced Wednesday.
Keselowski will get to keep the win and his team will not appeal the penalty.
Keselowski’s crew chief, Paul Wolfe, was fined $20,000 ($10,000 for each infraction). The team, whose listed owner is Jodi Geschickter because of a points deal done with JTG Racing after last season, also will lose 50 points in the owner standings.
Penske Racing President Tim Cindric said the car has passed postrace inspection in six races this year and Penske Racing conducted an internal investigation on the spring and shock.
"We were unable to disassemble the shock in question with NASCAR following the race," Cindric said in a statement. "We are confident that the shock malfunctioned during the event and was not working as intended. With regard to the spring, we have concluded that the combined spring rate of the No. 22 car springs were above the 3,000 pound/inch minimum while the spring in question was rated on NASCAR’s spring-rate tester earlier this year when it was found to be in excess of the 800 pound/inch minimum.
"The spring has not been used for any purpose since it was last rated with NASCAR and it was found to be 40 pounds/inch under the minimum spring rate following the Talladega race. The unusual deterioration of the rate of this spring is not within our control and it is unfortunate that we are in this position. We are confident that there was no intent on behalf of Paul Wolfe, or any other member of the No. 22 team, to circumvent NASCAR’s rules."
NASCAR had confiscated the shock and spring after they failed to meet the minimum spring rate in postrace inspection.
NASCAR also fined Bob Schacht Motorsports’ owner/crew chief Bob Schacht $7,500 for a reinforcement that extended forward of the coil-spring mounting pad and the use of hollow bolts in truck-trailing arms and the panhard bar. Bobby Gerhart drove that car.
Also fined was Day Enterprises Racing crew chief Newt Moore for unapproved jacking bolts in the car driven by Willie Allen.
The Schacht and Moore fines were the result of infractions found in opening-day inspection. SceneDaily
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