CONCORD, N.C. — A NASCAR appeals panel sided with Joe Gibbs Racing and eased some of the penalties imposed for having an illegal part in Matt Kenseth’s race-winning engine at Kansas last month.
NASCAR punished JGR after discovering during a post-race inspection that one of eight connecting rods in the engine at the April 21 race did not meet the minimum weight requirement. The part was too light by 3 grams, less than the weight of an envelope. JGR did not dispute the part was illegal, but argued the penalties were too severe because it leases its engines from Toyota Racing Development and is not permitted to touch anything inside of them. Toyota accepted responsibility and insisted one light rod did not give Kenseth a performance advantage.
The three-member National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel agreed and dramatically reduced almost every penalty.