When NASCAR seized rear suspension parts from his car last Saturday, defending Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski was adamant that his team had done nothing wrong.
NASCAR obviously disagreed and on Wednesday dropped the hammer on Penske Racing suspending two crew chiefs, two car chiefs and a competition director two races, fining both crew chiefs $100,000 and docking Keseloski and Joey Logano 25 driver points.
The perceived harshness of the penalties didn’t surprise Keselowski, who took a far different tone than the one he had at Texas, seemingly content to let the appeals process play out.
“I don’t think I’ve been surprised by much of anything in the last two or three days” Keselowski said Friday at Kansas Speedway.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that defining cheating in this sport is something that’s been very poorly done. I think you (media) all are probably the ones that need to step back and try to figure out how to define that better because, clearly, this garage is having a hard time doing that.”
Not wanting to jeopardize his appeal before it was heard, Keselowski wouldn’t get into specifics Friday.
He did, however, maintain that his team was innocent and the parts confiscated were not only legal but had been approved by NASCAR. He also didn’t want to respond to the idea that this was karma catching up to him after his remarks a year ago concerning the legality of the Hendrick Motorsports cars.
But Keselowski does see some parallels to an issue that Hendrick went through last spring when inspectors initially found C-posts on Jimmie Johnson’s car to be illegal. The team appealed and in a rare decision, the major infractions were overturned.
“Yeah, I think there’s definitely some similarities,” Keselowski said. “I’m not gonna say it’s an identical situation, but there are definitely some similarities, yes.”
What concerns Keselowski the most is loss of crew chief Paul Wolfe and other key personnel within the Penske organization. But for driver for who has often been at his best when others have counted him out, he sees the adversity as a potential opportunity.
“I think it’s definitely a challenge for us, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to continue to show how strong of a team Penske Racing can be, and I think there are a lot of passion inside this group. The strong will survive.”