NASCAR fans have seen a number of drivers sitting on pit road during race practice sessions this season. Those drivers are in “time out” – serving penalties for inspection infractions. However, teams are assessed stronger penalties that involve fines and suspensions for infractions discovered in post race inspections.
Last week after the O’Reiley Auto Parts 500 in Ft. Worth, Texas NASCAR discovered that not all of the lug nuts on Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s number 17 Roush Fenway Racing car were properly installed. As a result, Stenhouse’s crew chief Brian Pattie has been fined $10,000.
Since Stenhouse’s car had only one of the total 20 lug nuts improperly installed, Pattie was given the lightest penalty available. The penalties increase significantly with each additional infraction or number of lug nuts involved.
In other penalty news, the number two Penske Racing car driven by Brad Keselowski appealed a penalty assessed after the race at Phoenix International Raceway for failing the technical secton of post race inspection.
080301-N-5487R-0010 LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 1, 2008) – No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Monte Carlo driver Brad Keselowski talks to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Adam Coleman prior to the start of the Sam’s Club 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coleman, one of the Navy’s Fleet Honorees selected for the race, recently returned from deployment in the Middle East where he was awarded the Purple Heart. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Andrea Ross (released).
The three member appeals board heard the appeal on April 12 and denied the appeal.
Keselowski’s crew chief Paul Wolfe will have to serve a three race suspension – one of which he has already served while the team weighed the decision to appeal – and pay a $65,000 fine. Car owner Roger Penske has also been docked 35 car owner points and driver Brad Keselowski has been docked 35 driver points.
Penske has one final option to appeal the ruling with the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer – which car owner Roger Penske has declared he will do. A date for that appeal has not yet been set. Wolfe will continue to serve as Keselowski’s crew chief until the final determination has been made.
NASCAR is off for the Easter holiday but will return to race in Bristol, Tennessee.
photos courtesy of:
By National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – http://www.nascar.com/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17867839
By Missvain – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41247034
By U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Andrea Ross (Released) – http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=55877, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3711442
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