Penske Racing Penalized For Illegal Suspension Parts
It’s a good thing those legal parts worked so well in Texas last Saturday night at the NRA 500. Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski and teammate Joey Logano were racked hard by the sanctioning body for using unapproved equipment.
The resulting penalties will involve $100,000 fines for the crew chiefs, Paul Wolfe for the 2 car and Todd Gordon for the 22. The crew chiefs will be suspended for 6 weeks and on probation until December 31 of this year. Keselowski and Logano will each lose 25 driver points and Roger Penske will be docked 25 owner points for each team.
According to Marty Smith of ESPN the explanation of the crackdown is as such:
Both cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20-12 (all suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. 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.)
Smith goes on to explain what the clandestine parts would do for a competitive advantage:
Basically, the rear-end housings on both cars were doctored in a fashion that they might shift the rear-ends of the cars into yaw during competition, thereby creating better side force aerodynamics.
During the 2012 season, there were claims that Hendrick Motorsports was doing the same type of engineering to allow for better cornering speed. Keselowski was quite critical of the Henridck organization in his comments last August. It seems that the 2013 rule book is a little tighter and Penske Racing now has hands of red.