Matt Kenseth has been handed one of the heaviest penalties in NASCAR history after his Toyota engine failed post-race inspections after his victory at Kansas Speedway.
NASCAR have dealt Kenseth with a 50 point penalty and suspended crew chief Jason Ratcliffe for the next seven races (who has also been fined $200,000), including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race, after deeming that an engine connecting rod did not meet the minimum weight requirement of 525.0 grams.
While Kenseth’s victory itself still stands, the 48 points that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver earned as a result have effectively been removed.
In addition to the points penalty, Kenseth will not receive bonus points for the Kansas win if he were to make the Chase, nor will it count towards a wildcard entry to the Chase, either. His pole award will not count towards the 2014 Sprint Unlimited.
Car owner, Joe Gibbs, has also been hit with a 50 owner’s point penalty and similar penalties in relation to the Chase as Kenseth. Gibbs has also had the owner license for the #20 car suspended for the next six points-scoring races, meaning any points Kenseth scores will not count as owner’s points.
“Joe Gibbs Racing is aware of the penalty issued by NASCAR today regarding the engine in our #20 car used in last week’s Sprint Cup Series race in Kansas,” said a statement from Joe Gibbs Racing. “It is our understanding that one of the eight connecting rods on the engine was ruled too light. We are working with our partners at Toyota Racing Development on this issue. In the meantime we will plan to appeal the penalty.”
Toyota have also been docked five manufacturer’s points.