Joe Gibbs Racing scores major victory against NASCAR

Joe Gibbs Racing scored a major victory Wednesday as a three-member NASCAR appeals board drastically reduced penalties for an illegal engine part in Matt Kenseth’s winning car at Kansas Speedway.

Kenseth crew chief Jason Ratcliff saw his suspension cut from seven weeks (six points races plus the all-star race) to one week, while Kenseth had his points penalty reduced from 50 points to 12 points and will now be allowed to use the Kansas win toward Chase bonus points or a wild-card berth.

Joe Gibbs and Matt Kenseth scored a major victory in its appeal hearing against NASCAR Wednesday. (AP Photo)The panel also rescinded a severe penalty that would have frozen the car owner points for the JGR’s No. 20 team for six weeks.

Ratcliff’s $200,000 fine remained, and he was placed on probation for three races upon his return. Toyota, which had been docked five points in the manufacturer standings, will now be docked seven points.

Team owner Joe Gibbs said there would be no further appeals. Gibbs did not say who would replace Ratcliff this weekend at Darlington Raceway or whether he would pay Ratcliff’s fine.

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