JGR Appeal Set for May 8

Matt Kenseth

JGR is going to appeal the severity of the penalties. (Photo: Getty Images)

Joe Gibbs Racing’s appeal of penalties for an illegal engine part found in Matt Kenseth’s car at Kansas Speedway has been set for May 8.

Gibbs is appealing the litany of penalties NASCAR handed down after one of the connecting rods in Kenseth's race-winning engine was found to be 2.7 grams too light in an inspection held at the sanctioning body's R&D Center. Kenseth was docked 50 driver points as part of the penalties which also included 50 owner points, the suspension of crew chief Jason Ratcliff for six points races, a $200,000 fine and the inability of the JGR No. 20 team to collect owner points for six races.

NASCAR's vice president of competition Robin Pemberton addressed the severity of the penalties last weekend at Richmond Int'l Raceway.

"As everyone knows, there are a few things that are understood in the garage area that are big,” said Pemberton. “When you talk about engines, you talk about tires, and you talk about fuel. That’s a common thread that’s been understood, and it’s stood the test of time for the last 65 years. Don’t mess with those areas. And the penalties are severe.”

However, JGR contends the connecting rod was a mistake and not a performance enhancement.

"We know there’s going to be a penalty for that,” team owner Joe Gibbs said of the violations NASCAR handed down. “What we’re going to appeal is the severity of the penalties. … When you have motor experts look at it, what they would say is, there is no advantage to having that one light rod in that motor. That’s one thing that’s very important to me is, the intent here was not to get an unfair advantage in any way. That’s very important to me.”

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