www.baltimoresun.com/sports/auto-racing/kwch-nascar-hammers-20-team-for-kansas-violations-20130424,0,4008566.story

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NASCAR hammers 20 team for Kansas violations

By HEATHER WILLIAMS

Eyewitness Sports

12:45 PM EDT, April 24, 2013

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After failing a post-race inspection of his Kansas Speedway engine, winner Matt Kenseth has been hit with a massive penalty.

Kenseth loses 50 drivers points, his pole will not count toward entry into next season's Sprint Unlimited, nor with the win count toward chase bonus points or a Wild Card spot in the chase.

But it's gets worse for his crew chief and owner.

Crew Chief Jason Ratliff has been fined $200,000, suspended for six weeks and put on probation until December 31.

Owner JD Gibbs also loses 50 owners points and is suspended for six weeks. The win does not count toward the owner's chase for the championship, nor do any points earned over the next six weeks.

Joe Gibbs Racing says it planes to appeal the penalties.

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Toyota Racing Development, which provideds JGR with its engines issued the following statement:

"During NASCAR's routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth's race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway, one of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams.  None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight.  We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas -- JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines.  It was a simple oversight on TRD's part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage.  Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company.

The goal of TRD has always been -- and will continue to be -- to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR."

Lee White, President

T.R.D., U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development)

 

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Here's the official release from NASCAR:

Penalties have been handed down to the No. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team as a result of rule violations discovered in the post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center.

The No. 20 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-5.5.3 (E) (Only magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted; connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight) of the 2013 rule book.

As a result of this violation, NASCAR has assessed the following penalties:

·         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.