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NASCAR Issues Big Penalty to Keselowski, RFK Racing

The loss of 100 driver and owner points, crew chief suspension for four races and a $100k fine.


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NASCAR issued a massive penalty to Brad Keselowski and the Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing No. 6 team after Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The team has been issued a deduction of 100 driver and owner points, with crew chief Matt McCall fined $100,000 and suspended for the next four NASCAR Cup Series points races. Should Keselowski qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, he will be penalized with the loss of 10 NASCAR Playoff points for each round he advances into.

The penalty came under Sections 14.1 and 14.5 in the NASCAR Rule Book, both of which pertain to the modification of a single source supplied part. While NASCAR will not go into specifics while a potential appeal could be filed by the team, the infraction is related to the assembly of the body:

NASCAR Cup Rule Book
Section 14.1

C. Vehicles must comply with Section 14 Vehicle and Driver Safety Specifications of the NASCAR Rule Book at all times during an Event. Failure to comply will be subject to Penalty pursuant to Section 10 Violations and Disciplinary Action.

D. Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR Rules, installation of additional components, repairs, deletions, and/or modifications to Next Gen Single Source Vendor-supplied parts and/or assemblies will not be permitted.

NASCAR Cup Rule Book
Section 14.5

A. Bodies must utilize NASCAR-approved OEM body parts and mounting hardware

B. Body filler will not be permitted on any parts and seams between parts. Part seams and intersections will not be permitted to be smoothed or altered.

C. Tolerances from approved CAD surfaces (templates, scanning, or otherwise) are provided to allow for manufacturing, installation, and inspection device variability. It is the responsibility of each organization to ensure that the body is correctly utilized and installed as specified by the approved CAD file at all times during an event.

D. External surfaces of body panels may be wrapped with paint applied to the wrap. Any external wrap or coating must be removable. Textured paint or vinyl will not be permitted.

This is a wide range of potential infractions for Keselowski, McCall and the No. 6 team to have committed.

In the hour prior to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Keselowski’s No. 6 car was sent to the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments. The violations announced Thursday morning were discovered during teardown inspection at the NASCAR R&D Center early this week.

The penalty drops Keselowski from 16th in the championship standings with 122 points to 35th with 22 points – behind every full-time driver in the field.

With the introduction of the Next Gen car, a de facto single source supplied parts spec car, NASCAR unveiled a more stringent penalty structure for the 2022 season over the winter. The policy introduced a list of deterrence options on a three-tiered system — from L1 to L3.

Penalty options for a L2 infraction include:

• Points deductions: 75-120 points
• Playoff points deductions: 10-25 points
• Suspension of one or two crew members for 4-6 races
• Fines: $100,000-$250,000

The idea was to make the penalty for altering spec parts more costly than the cost to manufacturer it, as outlined by NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller in January.

"To make sure that all of those things stay above board, there’s going to have to be a culture shift from the way that the teams and NASCAR, for that matter, have done business," Miller said. "So, this deterrence model has more meat in it, more meaningful penalties, but I think we all thought that it was time for this with the introduction of the new car."