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DATE News (chronologically)
04/24/13
nassprint
Did Kenseth's engine fail inspection after Kansas? Yes UPDATE #3 "Whether with the Gen-6 car or back to the Gen-3 car in my crew chief days, we’ve always known the engine and tires are sacred ground. You don’t mess with the engine or the tires.  But I absolutely think this was a mistake on the part of Toyota Racing Development (TRD).  If they were going to intentionally run light connecting rods, they’d make all eight of them light – not just one.  This was pure human error.  But in NASCAR’s defense, they can’t completely determine intent or non-intent. I don’t question the points penalty or the monetary fine, but I take issue with suspending Jason Ratcliff, because while the crew chief ultimately is responsible for the car from the roof to the driveshaft, there is no way in this world Ratcliff knew that rod was too light. He wouldn’t have known if all eight rods were light; heck, he wouldn’t have known if all eight were missing from the engine.  In my 18 years as a crew chief, I couldn’t tell you anything about the engine other than whether it was running well or whether it was in the car.

"If TRD rebuilt this engine and upped the weight of that one connecting rod to the proper weight and re-ran the Kansas race, Kenseth probably still would have won.  But there is a line in the sand and TRD crossed that line, whether intentional or not.

"Joe Gibbs Racing has said they will appeal the penalty, and they absolutely should appeal.  I’d primarily appeal Ratcliff’s suspension.  He was an innocent bystander in this.  The engine is a different deal than the rest of the car.  If I was Joe Gibbs, I’d be pretty ticked off about losing my crew chief under these circumstances.  This was an error but an enormously costly one." --Larry McReynolds, NASCAR on FOX/SPEED analyst

04/24/13 NASCAR on Wednesday dropped the hammer on the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for violations found in post-race engine inspection of Matt Kenseth’s winning car at the NASCAR R&D Center following last weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway. 

As a result of this violation, NASCAR has assessed the following penalties:
• Crew chief Jason Ratcliff has been fined $200,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (a period of time that also includes the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
• Car owner Joe Gibbs has lost 50 championship car owner points; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate car owner points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a car owner Wild Card position; has had the owner's license for the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car suspended until the completion of the next six championship points events, therefore being ineligible to receive championship car owner points during that period of time.
• Driver Matt Kenseth has lost 50 championship driver points; the Coors Light Pole award from April 19 at Kansas Speedway will not be allowed for eligibility into the 2014 Sprint Unlimited; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate driver points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a driver Wild Card position.
• The loss of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championship points. 

NASCAR on FOX/SPEED analyst Larry McReynolds offers his perspective on the penalties below:

"Whether with the Gen-6 car or back to the Gen-3 car in my crew chief days, we’ve always known the engine and tires are sacred ground. You don’t mess with the engine or the tires.  But I absolutely think this was a mistake on the part of Toyota Racing Development (TRD).  If they were going to intentionally run light connecting rods, they’d make all eight of them light – not just one.  This was pure human error.  But in NASCAR’s defense, they can’t completely determine intent or non-intent. I don’t question the points penalty or the monetary fine, but I take issue with suspending Jason Ratcliff, because while the crew chief ultimately is responsible for the car from the roof to the driveshaft, there is no way in this world Ratcliff knew that rod was too light. He wouldn’t have known if all eight rods were light; heck, he wouldn’t have known if all eight were missing from the engine.  In my 18 years as a crew chief, I couldn’t tell you anything about the engine other than whether it was running well or whether it was in the car.

"If TRD rebuilt this engine and upped the weight of that one connecting rod to the proper weight and re-ran the Kansas race, Kenseth probably still would have won.  But there is a line in the sand and TRD crossed that line, whether intentional or not.

"Joe Gibbs Racing has said they will appeal the penalty, and they absolutely should appeal.  I’d primarily appeal Ratcliff’s suspension.  He was an innocent bystander in this.  The engine is a different deal than the rest of the car.  If I was Joe Gibbs, I’d be pretty ticked off about losing my crew chief under these circumstances.  This was an error but an enormously costly one.” --Larry McReynolds, NASCAR on FOX/SPEED analyst

04/24/13 Statement from TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)
"During NASCAR's routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth's race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway, one of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams.  None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight.  We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas -- JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines.  It was a simple oversight on TRD's part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage.  Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been -- and will continue to be -- to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR." Lee White, President

04/24/13 The Associated Press is reporting that the engine in Matt Kenseth’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota failed inspection following Kenseth’s victory in Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, but will NASCAR take away his win? Of course not.

According to the AP, one of the connecting rods in Kenseth’s engine was too light.

NASCAR declined comment on the report. 

Cheaters prosper in NASCAR. You can cheat and win every race. If you do, you will be penalized and fined, but you will keep the win. You can become the winningest driver in NASCAR history, surpassing Richard Petty's 200 win record because NASCAR never takes the win away from a cheater.

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