Members from Joe Gibbs Racing met with the three person appeal committee at the NASCAR R&D Center earlier today and after six hours of discussion, they were able to get their ground shattering penalties issued by NASCAR a couple weeks ago rescinded significantly. The three person panel was made up of Dover International Speedway CEO Denis McGlynn, former team owner Jack Housby & Stafford Speedway general manager Mark Arute.
– 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 No. 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.
Appeal Committee Adjustments
– Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff suspension brought down from 6 races to 1, still fined 200K
– Point penalty reduced from 50 to 12
– Joe Gibbs’ Owner License is no longer suspended
– Toyota Manufacturer point penalty increased from 5 to 7
– Kenseth Can Get Chase Bonus Points from win or use it as a wildcard
NASCAR: “Today is one that we disagree with. We can’t be clearer than that. This will not alter how we inspect engines. It won’t impact how we penalize people.”
This was a very smart decision and I am very happy to see it go in favor of Joe Gibbs Racing. This will take Kenseth from 11th to 4th in the standings and is a huge break for this team. The majority of people felt NASCAR went overboard with the penalties seeing that it was a minor mistake by TRD, not JGR and it gave the car no performance advantage whatsoever. Yesterday, Penske Racing got the suspensions of 7 key crew members reduced from 6 races to 2 but all other penalties were upheld by Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook.