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Partial appeal success for Penske

JGR was found to have an underweight component in the engine of Matt Kenseth's race-winning #20 at Kansas Speedway in April, and as a result NASCAR imposed a 50 points penalty for Matt Kenseth, a six-race suspension and $200,000 fine for crew chief Jason Ratcliff and a six-race suspension of Joe Gibb's owner license for the car meaning it can't score any owner points during that time.

JGR does not dispute that a single connecting rod in the engine was underweight by three grams - about the weight of three paperclips - but says that the penalties are too severe especially as the engine is in effect a sealed 'plug-and-play' unit delivered to the team by engine suppliers Toyota Racing Development from their west coast assembly plant. TRD has already accepted the blame for the rules violation and said it was down to a failure to adequately quality check components supplied to them by a third party vendor.

Today's appeal takes place before a three-person panel selected from the 49 members of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel. Presentations are made separately to the panel by the team and by NASCAR with a judgement handed down at the end of the day. The hearing starts at 9pm EST (2pm BST) and typically takes five to eight hours depending on the complexity of the issues and the evidence being considered.

As Penske did before them, JGR can take the matter to NASCAR's chief appellate officer if the initial appeal is unsuccessful. Middlebrook, a former General Motors executive, serves for a nominal $1 a year and his decision is final and not subject to further appeal.



Related Pictures

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US President Barack Obama, Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski, Owner Roger Penske and Crew Chief Paul Wolfe attend an event at the White House, April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama is hosted the event to honour Keselowski the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (middle) shakes hands with team owner Roger Penske (right), as Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski (left) stands nearby during an event at the White House, April 16, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama is hosted the event to honour Keselowski the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion. (Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, kisses the Brick after his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
The #24 Axalta Chevrolet crew celebrates in pit lane after driver Jeff Godron`s victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, salutes the fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, center, celebrates with team owner Rick Hendrick, left, daughter Ella Sophia and wife Ingrid Vandebosch by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars into the pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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