RICHMOND, Va. — NASCAR is defending the severity of the penalties levied against Joe Gibbs Racing for an illegal part in Matt Kenseth’s engine.
NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton says series officials aren’t charged with determining intent or if the infraction provided an advantage.
Joe Gibbs Racing was stripped of everything except the trophy from Kenseth’s victory Sunday at Kansas because one connecting rod in his engine did not meet the minimum weight requirement. Kenseth was docked 50 points, including the bonus points for the win.
Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000, and Ratcliff and car owner Joe Gibbs were suspended six races.
The engine came from Toyota Racing Development, which took responsibility for the mistake. Pemberton says NASCAR won’t punish outside vendors because teams are responsible for their cars.