The NASCAR Appeal Gods smiled down on Joe Gibbs Racing today.
After hours of waiting, the verdict (in regards to penalties handed down after Matt Kenseth’s Kansas win) was revealed, and it made jaws drop everywhere. Not because it was in JGR’s favor, but because of how massive the reductions were.
Here are the new perimeters:
Jason Ratcliff’s seven race suspension has been reduced to one race. His $200,000 fine is still in effect. No word on who will replace him for that one race.
Matt Kenseth can rest easy; the win in question can now be used to grab him a Wild Card slot. He is also eligible for the Sprint Unlimited. His points penalty was also reduced from 50 to 12. This puts him 4th in points.
Joe Gibbs’ owners’ points penalty was also cut from 50 to 12. His owners license has been reinstated, and he can collect points on that side yet again.
The only increase in penalties did a disservice to the team’s manufacturer, Toyota, who was first penalized 5 manufacturer points. That has been increased to 7 points.
The group doesn’t plan an appealing to Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. Everyone is happy with the outcome . . .except NASCAR.
A spokesperson for NASCAR claimed that this won’t change how the organization penalizes/enforces rules in the future. They “aren’t worried” about their authority being taken away due to the appeal ruling.
“We cannot speculate on intention. We have to regulate based on whether it was right, or whether it was wrong,” the spokesperson went on to say.
This is a huge win for Joe Gibbs Racing and teams/drivers alike, defeating the Goliath made up of different rules, restrictions, and frowned-upon actions. However, could this huge loss for NASCAR give them less of an edge over its participants? We will have to wait and see the long-term results, but it’s obvious what the consensus is on that subject.