- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Matt Kenseth: NASCAR penalties ‘grossly unfair’
The driver for Joe Gibbs Racing spoke out Thursday, one day after his team was slapped with some of the harshest penalties in NASCAR history because his race-winning car at Kansas last week failed post-race inspection.
The failure came because one of eight connecting rods in the engine was too light — by 2.7 grams, according to Kenseth, who said the rods collectively weighed more than necessary by about 2.5 grams each.
“I think the penalties are grossly unfair,” Kenseth said. “I think it’s borderline shameful.”
Kenseth was docked 50 driver points in the standings, two more than he earned for the victory. He said he’s more upset about the penalties given to car owner Joe Gibbs and his crew chief, Jason Ratcliff.
Ratcliff was suspended for six weeks and fined $200,000.
The team is appealing the penalties.
“They show up on a truck or an airplane, get taken out and bolted in the car,” he said.
TDR president Lee White said Wednesday night the company took full responsibility for the mistake and confirmed that JGR had nothing to do with it. He also said the lighter part gave Kenseth no competitive advantage.
“There was no intent. It was a mistake. JGR had no control over it,” Kenseth said with anger. “Certainly to crush Joe Gibbs like that and say they can’t win an owner’s championship with the 20 this year … I just can’t wrap my arms around that. It just blows me away. And the same for Jason Ratcliff.
“I don’t feel bad for myself at all, but for Jason and Joe, I couldn’t feel any worse. There’s no more reputable, honest, hard-working guys with good reputations moreso than those two. I feel really bad for them.”
Kenseth said he doesn’t care that the penalty may affect his reputation as a clean racer. He said anyone with knowledge of the situation knows he and his team had nothing to do with it and gained no advantage. He understands that NASCAR has to police the sport vigilantly, but said “the penalty is way over the top for” the infraction.
He’s not alone and not the only driver hoping the appeals panel provides some relief.
Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski’s team for Penske Racing was punished last week after NASCAR said it found unapproved parts in the rear suspension of Keselowski’s and Joey Logano’s cars at Texas. NASCAR took 25 points away from each driver, fined the crew chiefs $100,000 each and suspended seven Penske employees for six races.
Penske Racing’s appeal is scheduled for May 1.
“I certainly feel bad for him because at the end of the day, Matt doesn’t put together the car and, heck, in this particular situation his team didn’t even put together the engine, so it’s a difficult situation at best,” Keselowski said Thursday at Richmond International Raceway, adding that he also understands that “from NASCAR’s side, they know that if you give an inch, you’ve got to give a mile.”
In the end, said Keselowski, “it’s just a question of whether the penalty fits the crime.”
He also was hoping to put the controversy of the past few days behind him, hopefully by Friday.
“My excitement for tonight is at an all-time low,” he said. “It just is right now.”
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- EDITORIAL: Senate rejects Adegbile for Justice post
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- U.S. deploys 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland as exercise in response to Ukraine situation
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again