Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Commission Sides Clearly With Joe Gibbs Racing

Coach Gibbs is smiling today
Joe Gibbs Racing scored a major off-track victory today, when the National Stock Car Racing Commission slashed penalties assessed to the team by NASCAR for an engine violation discovered following his win at Kansas Speedway last month. 

The three-member panel – Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment, Inc. President/CEO Denis McGlynn, Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway owner/promoter Mark Arute and former NASCAR team owner Jack Housby – reduced driver Matt Kenseth’s 50-point penalty to 12. An identical owner points penalty for Joe Gibbs Racing was trimmed by an identical amount. That 38-point revision pushes Kenseth back to fourth place in Sprint Cup Series championship standings. Kenseth’s Kansas pole was reinstated, and he will now be credited with three bonus points for the victory, if he qualifies for the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.  

Crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s $200,000 penalty was allowed to stand by the commission, but a seven-race suspension – encompassing six points races and the non-point Sprint All-Star Race – was trimmed to just one. Team owner Joe Gibbs, whose owner’s license was suspended by NASCAR for seven races, saw that suspension overturned in total.  

The commission did increase one penalty, boosting Toyota’s five-point penalty in the Manufacturer’s Championship to seven points. 

"We accept the penalties the way they are and are not going to appeal anything,” said Gibbs after the announcement.  “We are going to work extremely hard with TRD to make sure this never happens again (and) right now, we just want to get back to racing." 

“Glad to have today behind us so we can get our focus back on racing,” said Kenseth via Twitter. “I respect NASCAR and the appeals process, I feel like they got it right.” 

NASCAR’s Senior Director of Communications/Competition Kerry Tharp made it clear that the sanctioning body is unhappy with the reversal, saying, "While we are disappointed by today's outcome, we stand firmly behind our inspection process. Our intensity and approach to inspecting engines will not change. We take this ruling and we move on to Darlington.''  

NASCAR is not allowed to appeal the decision.


  1. Carol4:37 PM

    This one I have to agree with. The Penske decision, not so much. Even though "the buck stops here" and all that, the Gibbs organization can't be expected to double-check each and every element of an engine they get from an outsource. This was a good decision. As for Penske, what they did, even though it was within that everlovin' "gray area" was intentional. Maybe it was somehow within the rules as they read them, but it was an intentional deviation from what they knew to be the accepted standard. The Gibbs infraction was so far in left field that it simply could not have been anticipated unless you go in with the thought that every part is suspect and every engine should be torn down and rebuilt before it is ever used or submitted for inspection. Just my 2 cents.

  2. Anonymous5:29 PM

    If big bill was still around 6 weeks would mean 6 weeks

  3. Anonymous5:39 PM

    I am so glad that the reductions were done. I never thought they would be upheld completely Penske's should have been kept as they were but so be it. I would bet the farm that TRD pays the 200,000

  4. Anonymous9:42 PM

    Wow. This smells funny to me. Only 1 1/2 years watching NASCAR. Considering the awful position Coach Gibbs was in, Toyota being his biggest customer. Then the money Toyota contributes to the sport. I have questions. 20 team made how much on the race? The fine was how much? 36 point gain. All with a illegal HOLY, not so anymore, GRAIL. Give me a break. Smells like politics to me. You can have your NASCAR. I'll find better ways to spend my weekends.

  5. then build your own engines...Carl Long was in the same boat!

  6. they where way to lenient on Pensky and Gibbs. This totally undermines NASCAR's authority.