NASCAR has announced points and monetary penalties for the Penske Racing Nationwide Series team of Brad Keselowski, after determining to rule violations on the car during this past weekend's event at Talladega Superspeedway, won by Keselowski.
Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 car, was docked 25 Nationwide Series championship driver points for being found in post-race inspection to have been running an unapproved left-front spring and right front shock absorber. The Penske Racing driver also surrendered an additional 25 driver points. Keselowski remains the series points leader, although his lead went from 60 to 10 in front of Kevin Harvick.
Paul Wolfe, crew chief for the Keselowski's No. 22 entry, was fined $10,000 for "actions detrimental to stock car racing" and an additional $10,000 for use of the unapproved parts. Jodi Geschickter, owner of the No. 22 team, was penalized with the loss of 50 Nationwide Series owner points.
Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said the team would not contest the penalties. "In addition to NASCAR's investigation regarding the shock and spring of the No. 22 car in the Talladega Nationwide Series race, Penske Racing conducted an internal investigation to determine why the car did not pass post-race inspection," Cindric said in a team statement. "The No. 22 car has been selected for post-race inspection over the previous six races and has passed each inspection.
"We were unable to disassemble the shock in question with NASCAR following the race. We are confident that the shock malfunctioned during the event and was not working as intended. With regard to the spring, we have concluded that the combined spring rate of the No. 22 car springs were above the 3,000 pound/inch minimum while the spring in question was rated on NASCAR's spring rate tester earlier this year when it was found to be in excess of the 800 pound/inch minimum. The spring has not been used for any purpose since it was last rated with NASCAR and it was found to be 40 pounds/inch under the minimum spring rate following the Talladega race.
"The unusual deterioration of the rate of this spring is not within our control and it is unfortunate that we are in this position," Cindric added. "We are confident that there was no intent on behalf of Paul Wolfe, or any other member of the No. 22 team, to circumvent NASCAR's rules. We understand NASCAR's penalty and we do not plan to appeal."