RFK Racing Penalty Upheld After Appeals Process

Brad Keselowski lost 100 points and his crew chief for four races due to a spec part violation.

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The penalty levied against Brad Keselowski and the RFK Racing No. 6 will stand.

A three-person National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard an argument from the team on Thursday but concluded that the No. 6 was ultimately in violation of Section 14.1 and 14.5 of the NASCAR Rule Book -- sections that involve the modification of a single source supplied part on the Next Gen car.

Every component that goes into a Cup Series car must be purchased from the approved vendor and installed as purchased. It cannot be modified in any way unless provided approval from the sanctioning body.

The No. 6 team received the penalty on March 24 after a thorough inspection of the car taken back to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in North Carolina following the race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The infractions resulted in a 100-point penalty for both the driver and owner standings, the loss of 10 playoff points, a four-race suspension to crew chief Matt McCall and a $100,000 fine.

RFK Racing has the option to appeal to a final hearing but will not do so.

"Although we are disappointed in the outcome of the appeal hearing, we are advocates of the process NASCAR has set forth and appreciate the opportunity to make our voice heard in the matter. With that in mind, we do not intend to pursue this further and our focus remains on our upcoming races, with Martinsville up first this weekend."

McCall has already served two races on his suspension and will be eligible to return to the pit box at Talladega Superspeedway from April 22-24. Engineer Josh Sell has served as interim crew chief, leading the No. 6 team to finishes of 14th and 13th at Circuit of the Americas and Richmond the past two weekends.

Keselowski remains 31st in the standings and is currently 98 points out of a playoff spot. That number will grow with each new winner.

The three members of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel who served in Thursday’s hearing were longtime motorsports marketing executive Dixon Johnston, Langley Speedway owner Bill Mullis and Bowman Gray Stadium promoter Dale Pinilis.

NASCAR has indicated that it will provide complete transparency as to what the exact infraction was by Tuesday after the deadline in which RFK could still choose to file a final appeal if it choose to do so. The following sections of the NASCAR Cup Series rule book are those in which RFK Racing was in violation of.

NASCAR Cup Rule Book
Section 14.1
VEHICLE ASSEMBLY

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
BODY

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.