NASCAR slams Roush for engine violation

NASCAR has fined Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series crew chief Eddie Pardue $30,000 and docked driver Matt Kenseth 100 Nationwide Series points as well as team owner Jack Roush 100 points for violations of the sealed engine rule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

NASCAR officials termed the violations a clerical mistake.

Engines of all race-winning teams are inspected after the race. If the team is sealing the engine for use in another event, the engine is inspected after the last event the engine is used. In a rule implemented this year to cut costs, teams cannot go more than three consecutive races without using a sealed engine.

Nationwide Series Director Joe Balash said the engine at issue was from the race-winning car in May at Darlington. The engine was sealed after the victory and then used again at Nashville in June and was sealed again for use at one more race. The team (or Roush Yates Engines) then took apart the engine because of a clerical error, cut the seals and took the engine apart, and once it was realized that a mistake was made, Roush Fenway contacted NASCAR officials, Balash said.

The race-winning engine was never torn down by NASCAR officials, Balash said, resulting in the penalty.

“It’s very serious," said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton, who learned of the accidental tear-down of the engine at the shop a few weeks ago. “It’s the integrity of our sealed-engine program, which has been put in place to try to aid the teams in cost control and budgets of things of that nature.

“I don’t think a 100-point penalty is light by any means, and I don’t think a $30,000 penalty is light in anyone’s eyes as it relates to the Nationwide Series. It’s serious, and we’re trying to uphold the integrity of the engine-sealing program. Quite frankly, I think it was a mistake, but mistakes happen, and sometimes these are the things that come out of it. I think it is a fairly substantial penalty."

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