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CUP: NASCAR Penske Ruling Upheld

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Penske Racing today lost its appeal of NASCAR penalties handed down following last month’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, where the team cars of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were deemed to have improper rear suspension modifications.

The team has one last court of resort, a final appeal to National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. Team owner Roger Penske said he will take the final appeal.

NASCAR penalized the team after the April 13 race at Texas Motor Speedway and the three-member panel unanimously upheld NASCAR’s ruling.

The sanctions were server. The crew chief, car chief and engineer for both Brad Keselowski’s and Joey Logano’s Penske Fords were suspended for six weeks each, as was the team manager, Travis Geisler, who oversees both cars.

In addition, each team was docked 25 owner and driver points, and crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Logano) were fined $100,000 each.

Representing Penske Racing today were team owner Roger Penske, Vice Chairman

Walt Czarnecki, President Tim Cindric, Wolfe, Gordon and team manager Travis Geisler.

NASCAR officials had said the rear ends of the two Penske cars contained unapproved parts; Penske countered that all the parts in question had been approved.

The full NASCAR statement on the Penske penalties:

The No. 2 and No. 22 cars have also been penalized. 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.)

As a result of this violation and as it pertains to the No. 2 car the following penalties have been assessed:

• Crew chief Paul Wolfe has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

• Car chief Jerry Kelley, team engineer Brian Wilson and team manager Travis Geisler (serves as team manager for both the No. 2 and No. 22 cars) have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

• The loss of 25 championship driver (Brad Keselowski) and 25 championship owner (Roger Penske) points.

As it pertains to the No. 22 car the following penalties have been assessed:

• Crew chief Todd Gordon has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

• Car chief Raymond Fox and team engineer Samuel Stanley have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

• The loss of 25 championship driver (Joey Logano) and 25 championship owner (Walt Czarnecki) points.

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.