In the case of this week's post-Kansas testing it was found that one of the connecting rods in Kenseth's engine was too light. While unlikely to provide a performance advantage and is probably more a case of quality control, the errant part is still a breach of the NASCAR rules that comes with heavy sanctions.
The engine build is the responsibility of Toyota Racing Development at their Costa Mesa facility in California, and TRD quickly issued a statement accepting the ruling, blaming the breach on poor oversight of a vendor-supplied part and stressing that the race team was not involved. Nonetheless, it's the team and the driver that get handed any penalties incurred by their suppliers - although NASCAR has also directly docked Toyota five points in the manufacturer championship
NASCAR has historically been particularly punitive toward engine irregularities: in 2009, the same $200k penalty was levied on the crew chief of the #46 Carl Long Racing car for one engine that was found to be 0.17 cubic inches over the allowed size. When the fine was not paid and the team itself folded, the sanction went onto driver Carl Long himself, who still to this day has not been able to pay what has been one of NASCAR's heaviest-ever financial penalties and who no longer races in the Cup Series as a result.
Meanwhile Penske Racing is appealing big penalties of their own, received as a result of using unapproved rear suspension parts at the previous race in Texas. The team's appeal over the 25 point deductions for Brad Keselowsi and Joey Logano and the six-race suspensions of both crew chiefs involved will be heard by a three-man panel on May 1.
Sauter penalised for modified fuel cell
NASCAR also announced that the #98 ThorSport entry driven by Johnny Sauter in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kansas had been penalised following a failed pre-race inspection at the start of the event.
The car was found to be sporting an illegally modified fuel cell, a breach of sections 12-1, 12-4K and 20B-16 of the 2013 rule book. The latter violation refers to the rule that prohibits unapproved modification of fuel cell safety foam.
Sauter will be docked 25 points, which means he will surrender the lead of the championship to Kansas race winner Matt Crafton. Sauter will now go into a tie for second place with Jeb Burton. The team also loses car owner points, and crew chief Joe Shear will have a four-race suspension and a $10,000 fine as well as being placed on probation until the end of the year.