As part of the original penalty, Kenseth's race win at Kansas wouldn't have counted towards a 'most wins wildcard' in the event he needed one to make the post-season Chase; he wouldn't have got the three point credit in the Chase for the win; and the pole wouldn't have counted toward making the 2014 Sprint Unlimited field, although that was made academic by his winning a consecutive pole in the next race. All those sanctions have been set aside by the appeals panel.
Before today's hearing, 70 per cent of the cases previously brought before NASCAR's appeals panel had been upheld.
NASCAR made it clear that they were not happy with losing this week's ruling: "You're not going to agree with everything, and today is one we disagree with," said spokesman Kerry Tharp. "We feel like when we write a penalty and write a rules violation, there needs to be something behind it.
"While we are disappointed in today's outcome, we stand firmly behind our inspection process," he added. "We take this ruling and we move on to Darlington."
Tharp insisted that penalising a team for elements outside its immediate control was harsh, but unavoidable.
"In violations such as these, we have no other recourse in the reinforcement process than to penalise the team owner and team members," he explained. "That's how our system works. The responsibility for such infractions falls on their shoulders. Our intensity and approach to inspecting engines will not change.
Joe Gibbs appeared subdued when speaking to the media afterwards: “This has been a tough, tough week for everyone and certainly no one wanted this to happen,” the team owner said. "We're committed to make sure that it never happens in the future.
“I want to emphasize, after going through this process, we have great respect for our sport and in particular NASCAR. All of us at Joe Gibbs Racing are committed to being good partners and we want to race with NASCAR forever," he continued. "We're going to work extremely hard with TRD to make sure that this never happens again. Right now, we just want to get back to racing."
Matt Kenseth's Twitter posting similarly conveyed a sense of relief that the matter was over: "Glad to have today behind us so we can get our focus back on racing. I respect NASCAR and the appeals process, I feel like they got it right," he wrote.
The official statement from the appeals panel detailing the outcome of the hearing offered no commentary on how it had arrived at the decision to reduce or rescind most of JGR penalties, or why the $200,000 fine remained.
The sanctioning body does not have any right of appeal, and JRG has already said that it is happy with the outcome of today's hearing and will not be taking the matter any further and will accept the reduced penalties handed down by today's panel.
The day before the JGR hearing, NASCAR's six-race suspensions of key Penske Racing staff for using unapproved rear suspension parts at the previous race in Texas had also been reduced to two races upon final appeal to the series' chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, making it a double blow for NASCAR's regulatory approach in 2013. (See separate story