Penske Racing hit with points, suspensions and hefty fines for illegal parts

Robert Laberge

Major penalties were issued to the teams of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano by NASCAR Wednesday. Martin Truex Jr. and Ron Hornaday Jr. were also penalized for different violations.

Judgment Day came Wednesday for many of NASCAR's top teams, as the sanctioning body doled out a host of penalties for rules infractions committed this past weekend.

As expected, Penske Racing was penalized heavily for the rear-end suspension parts and pieces that were confiscated from the Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano cars just hours before Saturday's Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Keselowski and Logano were each docked 25 driver points in addition to their crew and car chiefs and lead engineer being suspended six points races -- in addition to the non-points Sprint All-Star Race. The team manager for Penske, Travis Geisler, was also suspended for the same duration.

Crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Logano) were also fined $100,000 apiece.

Penske has stated that they will appeal the penalties.

According to a statement by NASCAR, the Penske teams were in violation of the rule which states suspension systems and components must be approved prior to being used at a race weekend.

"Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted, in a completed form/assembly, to the office of the NASCAR Competition Administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR.

"Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond normal rotation or suspension travel."

Following Saturday's race Keselowski was incensed, saying his team was being unfairly scrutinized by NASCAR. He also vehemently defended the integrity of his team.

"There's so much stuff going on," Keselowski said. "... I could tell you there's nobody, no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we've been treated over the last seven days is absolutely shameful.

"I feel like we've been targeted over the last seven days more than I've ever seen a team targeted. ... We're not going to take it. We're not going to be treated this way."

For being too low in post-race technical inspection, the No. 56 team of Martin Truex Jr. was penalized six driver points and Michael Waltrip Racing six owner points. Crew chief Chad Johnston was also fined $25,000 but will not be suspended. Instead, he will be placed on probation until June 5.

Truex had finished the NRA 500 in the second position.

MWR will not appeal its penalty, citing a mechanical failure causing Truex's car to be too low.

Also not appealing his penalty will be Ron Hornaday Jr., who was fined $25,000 and hit with a 25-point penalty for wrecking a competitor under caution in Sunday's Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway.

Hornaday spun the truck of Darrell Wallace Jr. in the closing laps after the two had made contact on the lap previous to the yellow flag being displayed. The veteran maintained afterward that he didn't spin Wallace intentionally and acknowledged his error, calling himself an "idiot."

The penalties handed out to the teams of Keselowski, Logano and Truex are consistent to penalties NASCAR has issued previously for similar offenses.

The same, however, can't be said for Hornaday.

In the past, NASCAR has suspended drivers for intentional contact under caution, most notably when Kyle Busch was parked for a race after wrecking, ironically, Hornaday in a Truck Series race in 2011.

Last November, however, Jeff Gordon escaped being suspended after driving into Clint Bowyer's car in a Cup race at Phoenix.

As a result of his penalty, Keselowski will drop from second in the Cup standings to ninth, while Logano will fall from ninth to 14th.

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