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New date set for Team Penske's final appeal
RELATED: No. 2 team penalized after Phoenix infraction The date for Team Penske's final appeal of L1-level penalties issued last month has been pushed back one day due to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race postponement at Bristol. NASCAR officials said the hearing is now scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 26 at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. It previously had been scheduled for Tuesday. Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, will preside over the hearing. The session will determine the final outcome of penalties issued March 22 to the Roger Penske -owned No. 2 Ford team after the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway. Team Penske filed the paperwork for a final appeal April 13, one day after the three-member National Motorsports Appeal Panel upheld the original penalties. That punishment included a three-race suspension for crew chief Paul Wolfe and a 35-point deduction for Brad Keselowski in the drivers' standings and the same amount for Penske in the owners' standings. With the appeal pending, a Team Penske official indicated that Wolfe is scheduled to be atop the pit box for Monday's Food City 500 at Bristol. Wolfe already has served one race of his three-race suspension, handing over the helm to Brian Wilson for the March 26 race at Auto Club Speedway. Moss, the former president at Gulfstream Aerospace, has held the role of National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer since 2014. His ruling on April 26 will be final. The burden of proof will rest with Team Penske in the final appeal process. In the initial hearing, the burden of proof rested with NASCAR. &amp;amp;amp;amp;<span _rtetemp="spchk" style="background-color: #ffffaa;" _rtespchksugg="Lt"alt"ult"flt"let"lit"lat"lot"ltd"t">am</span>p;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Panel upholds penalty on Penske's No. 2 team
A three-member appeals panel upheld L1-grade penalties Wednesday against Team Penske's No. 2 Ford team for failing technical inspection after the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on March 19 at Phoenix Raceway. The ruling by the National Motorsports Appeal Panel confirms the penalty issued by NASCAR on March 22, fining the team $65,000, handing a three-race suspension to crew chief Paul Wolfe, and docking Brad Keselowski 35 points in the drivers' standings and Roger Penske an equal point total in the team owners' standings. Wednesday afternoon, Team Penske issued a statement saying that it will exercise its right to appeal the ruling to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Bryan Moss. NASCAR representatives said that a date for the final appeal hearing has not been set. "While we are disappointed in today's results, we plan to immediately request a final appeal hearing as outlined in the NASCAR rulebook," the team said in its statement. "While the appeals process runs its course, we will continue to move forward and our focus will remain on getting prepared for the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway." Wolfe has already served one race of his three-race ban, sitting out the March 26 event at Auto Club Speedway. Team Penske had delayed its appeal request until after the Auto Club race to provide an opportunity to further inspect its Phoenix vehicle at its Mooresville, North Carolina, shop. Brian Wilson replaced Wolfe at Auto Club, leading the No. 2 team to a second-place finish. Wolfe returned -- with the appeal pending -- the following weekend at Martinsville Speedway, where Keselowski scored his second victory of the season. A representative for Team Penske said that Wolfe would continue in his current role as the organization awaited a final appeal date to be determined. The Monster Energy Series is off this weekend, with the next scheduled event on April 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Team Penske's penalty fell under the heading of Section 18.104.22.168.2 of the 2017 NASCAR Rule Book, which addresses general measurements (in this instance, rear steer) in the team's post-race pass through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). The three members of the National Motorsports Appeal Panel attending Wednesday's hearing were: -- Rick Crawford, former driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series -- Hunter Nickell, former president of the SPEED Channel -- Dale Pinilis, longtime operator of Bowman Gray Stadium
Team Penske appeal hearing set for April 12
Team Penske's appeal of a rules violation and subsequent penalties against driver Brad Keselowski, crew chief Paul Wolfe and the No. 2 team will be heard April 12 by three members of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel, according to a NASCAR official. The No. 2 team failed post-race inspection following last month's Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Wolfe was fined $65,000 and suspended for three races. Keselowski was assessed with the loss of 35 driver points and Penske lost 35 car owner points. The organization, which fields entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Keselowski and teammate Joey Logano, delayed its request for an appeal until it had the opportunity to inspect the Phoenix entry at its Mooresville, North Carolina, headquarters. Wolfe was replaced by interim crew chief Brian Wilson at Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400 the following week, where Keselowski finished second. It subsequently filed notice of an appeal and requested the penalties be deferred until the results of the appeal were determined. That deferral was granted, and Wolfe returned to the pit box for last week's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, where Keselowski scored his second win of the season. MORE: Penske appeal allows Wolfe to lead Kes to victory " No. 2 team penalized The team was penalized under Sections 22.214.171.124.1 of the NASCAR rule book for failing post-race rear steer on the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). The L1 level penalty calls for the finish to be encumbered, meaning any bonus points earned would not be eligible toward use in the playoffs. Keselowski finished fifth in the Phoenix race last month. Team owner Roger Penske addressed the decision to file an appeal following Keselowski's Martinsville victory. "Look, I need him on that box every weekend," Penske said of Wolfe. "I told him I'd pay him to be on that box every weekend not to be sitting in his motor home looking at a bunch of monitors. "But … really the strategy was that we'd take a race off last week (at ACS) and then make the appeal and I guess we'll be coming back here (to Martinsville) so it was good to get the experience here on this track, obviously, because it'll be in the (playoffs)."
Cain: Penske , Ganassi battling for early season supremacy
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Texas Chip Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings for the third consecutive week. Roger Penske's driver Brad Keselowski collected his second race trophy of the year on Sunday -- the first multi-time winner of the season. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray is enjoying the best six-race start of his Daytona 500-winning career -- ranked ninth in the standings entering this weekend's race at Texas, despite a crash last week at Martinsville. Penske driver Joey Logano is fifth in the standings with a pole position at Phoenix and five top-six finishes through six races -- top-five showings in both the last two weeks. 2017 Stats: Logano " Keselowski " Larson " McMurray While these two great racing organizations -- Chevy's Ganassi and Ford's Penske -- have long settled trophies and championships between themselves in the open-wheel ranks, simultaneously leading the way in NASCAR is a relatively uncommon development. But certainly not unforeseen. And what makes this situation even more interesting is that these are two-car teams -- not the four-car mega-organizations like Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing or Stewart-Haas Racing, which have more frequently visited winner's circles and hoisted the champion’s hardware. Kurt Busch's dramatic final lap win in the Daytona 500 is the only victory thus far in 2017 for the three four-car teams that have dominated the landscape in recent years. Sure it’s early in the season, but the standings look as diverse as they ever have. Entering Sunday's O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Furniture Row Racing's two drivers -- Martin Truex Jr. and rookie Erik Jones are both ranked among the top-13 and Truex has a win. Wood Brothers Racing driver Ryan Blaney -- a one-car operation with support from Penske -- is ranked seventh. RELATED: See the full standings " Who's earned the most stage points? Meanwhile, the larger teams are having an uncharacteristically and decidedly slower start to the year. Second-year driver Chase Elliott, 21, is setting the standard at Hendrick -- winless, but only four points behind the 24-year old Larson in the standings. Elliott's the only driver ranked among the top-five not from a two-car team and his three veteran teammates have ground you'd expect them to make up points-wise. Hendrick's Kasey Kahne is ranked 12th , reigning seven-time Monster Energy Series champion Jimmie Johnson is 14th and Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 25th -- a hefty 169 points behind Larson. No Hendrick driver has won a race in 2017. RELATED: Junior weighs in on slow start to 2017 Kyle Busch is leading the way for Joe Gibbs Racing -- ranked sixth, 80 points behind Larson. His teammate Denny Hamlin is 16th in the standings. Rookie Daniel Suarez is 21st and former champion Matt Kenseth is 22nd -- with three finishes of 36th or worse. No Gibbs driver has hoisted the hardware in 2017 either. Stewart-Haas' newest driver Clint Bowyer has been a bright light for Stewart-Haas outside of Busch's Daytona 500 win. Bowyer is ranked eighth -- his highest place atop the standings since he finished seventh in the 2015 season-opening Daytona 500. The last time he was ranked among the top-10 outside of Daytona was in 2014. Bowyer's teammate, 2014 Monster Energy Series champion Kevin Harvick is 10th in the standings with three finishes of 20th or worse through the opening six races. He was leading the standings at this time the past two seasons. After winning the Daytona 500 and finishing seventh the next week at Atlanta, Kurt Busch has suffered through four consecutive showings of 24th place or worse and has fallen to 19th in the points standings. His teammate Danica Patrick is ranked 29th. Her 17th place showing at Atlanta last month is the only top-20 for her so far this season. Yes, it's early in the year. And drivers such as Johnson -- a six-time winner at this week's Texas venue, Kyle Busch, Harvick and Hamlin are traditional trophy sure-bets. But the Ganassi and Penske organizations know a little something about winning championships too. And so far, they are well-positioned to make a run at the mega-teams who are less accustomed to playing catch-up, even this early in the season. Both Ganassi and Penske are among the most respected, decorated and competitive people in the garage with records and statistics to verify the stature -- in NASCAR and beyond. Ganassi holds the record for most Rolex 24 at Daytona wins (six), has won the 12 Hours of Sebring and won in class at the 24 Hours of LeMans in addition to his 11 IndyCar season titles and four Indy 500 wins. Penske is the reigning IndyCar champion team owner -- for the 14th time -- and has an incredible 16 Indy 500 wins in addition to his 2012 NASCAR title (Keselowski) and two Daytona 500 wins (Ryan Newman in 2008 and Logano in 2015). How many people would have predicted that come the second week of April either the Hendrick or Gibbs organizations would be winless? RELATED: NASCAR executive says more drivers have an opportunity to win But it's a reflection as much on the other teams -- Ganassi, Penske , Furniture Row, Wood Brothers and Richard Childress -- who have picked up the pace. The situation shows off NASCAR's talent diversity and speaks volumes about the ever-increasing intrigue and all around competitive level. Everyone's raising their game. And the big winner is the fan. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p
Penske's appeal allows Wolfe to lead Keselowski to Martinsville victory
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Texas RELATED: Keselowski wins at Martinsville " No. 2 crew on the win MARTINSVILLE, Va. – It didn't take long for a decision to appeal a post-race penalty handed down to the No. 2 Team Penske Team to pay dividends. Driver Brad Keselowski's appearance in Victory Lane on Sunday following the STP 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was proof enough of that. So, too, it seems, was crew chief Paul Wolfe's attendance on the team's pit box. "Look, I need him on that box every weekend," team owner Roger Penske said of Wolfe. "I told him I'd pay him to be on that box every weekend, not to be sitting in his motor home looking at a bunch of monitors. "But … really the strategy was that we'd take a race off last week and then make the appeal and I guess we'll be coming back here. … So it was good to get the experience here on this track, obviously, because it'll be in the Chase." The No. 2 team failed post-race inspection following last month's Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway. As a result, Wolfe was fined $65,000 and suspended for three races. Keselowski was assessed with the loss of 35 driver points and Penske 35 car owner points. RELATED: Keselowski penalized after Phoenix No decision on filing an appeal was made until the team had the opportunity to inspect the car at its headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina. In the meantime, Brian Wilson served as the team's interim crew chief at Auto Club Speedway. Keselowski rallied from early problems to finish second in the Auto Club 400. Wednesday, two days before the start of the Martinsville race weekend, Team Penske officials announced they had requested an appeal hearing and to defer the two remaining races of Wolfe's suspension "until the results of our appeal are known." "It's tough when you're not there," Wolfe said Sunday evening. "You try to communicate the best with the guys, but there's that little bit that you miss when you're just not sitting on the box and being able to communicate with Brad during the race. "It's tough not being there, and that's part of why ‑‑ that's the penalty they hand down, because they know it is. I'm just proud of the effort today. It was a good way to come back after not being on the box last week." Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, said he hadn't considered how he might have fared Sunday without the services of Wolfe. "Who knows?" he said. "I ain't thinking about that; I'm just glad I got a checkered flag and a clock."
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Roger Penske
Roger Penske is known, simply, as "The Captain." A true captain of industry, Penske has steered one of the most successful motorsports ships in the sport's history.
Penske wins in 1,000th NASCAR start
Roger Penske reflects on Brad Keselowski's win at Martinsville and what it meant coming in Team Penske's 1,000th NASCAR start.
Panel upholds penalty on No. 2 Penske team
Jonathan Merryman brings you up to speed on the National Motorsports Appeals Panel's decision to uphold the L1 -level penalty against the No. 2 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team .
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Owner Standings
MORE: XFINITY owner standings " Camping World owner standings Pos. Owner Car No. Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Attempts 1 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 360 0 0 1 2 7 8 2 Hendrick Motorsports 24 333 -27 -27 0 2 2 8 3 Furniture Row Racing 78 323 -37 -10 1 5 10 8 4 Team Penske 22 291 -69 -32 0 1 1 8 5 Team Penske 2 277 -83 -14 2 0 10 8 6 Hendrick Motorsports 48 244 -116 -33 2 0 10 8 7 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 244 -116 0 0 0 0 8 8 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 239 -121 -5 0 0 0 8 9 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 239 -121 0 0 3 3 8 10 Wood Brothers Racing 21 228 -132 -11 0 2 2 8 11 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 214 -146 -14 0 1 1 8 12 Furniture Row Racing 77 192 -168 -22 0 0 0 8 13 Roush Fenway Racing 6 192 -168 0 0 0 0 8 14 Richard Childress Racing 31 186 -174 -6 1 0 5 8 15 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 184 -176 -2 0 0 0 8 16 Roush Fenway Racing 17 168 -192 -16 0 0 0 8 17 Hendrick Motorsports 5 164 -196 -4 0 0 0 8 18 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 163 -197 -1 1 0 5 8 19 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 161 -199 -2 0 0 0 8 20 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 159 -201 -2 0 0 0 8 21 Richard Childress Racing 3 154 -206 -5 0 0 0 8 22 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 144 -216 -10 0 0 0 8 23 Germain Racing 13 144 -216 0 0 0 0 8 24 Hendrick Motorsports 88 134 -226 -10 0 0 0 8 25 Richard Childress Racing 27 127 -233 -7 0 0 0 8 26 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 116 -244 -11 0 0 0 8 27 Leavine Family Racing 95 102 -258 -14 0 0 0 8 28 JTG Daugherty Racing 37 94 -266 -8 0 0 0 8 29 TriStar Motorsports 72 94 -266 0 0 0 0 8 30 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 91 -269 -3 0 0 0 8 31 GO FAS Racing 32 90 -270 -1 0 0 0 8 32 Front Row Motorsports 34 88 -272 -2 0 0 0 8 33 Front Row Motorsports 38 79 -281 -9 0 0 0 8 34 Premium Motorsports 15 68 -292 -11 0 0 0 8 35 BK Racing 83 52 -308 -16 0 0 0 8 36 BK Racing 23 39 -321 -13 0 0 0 8 37 Circle Sport / TMG 33 34 -326 -5 0 0 0 8 38 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 27 -333 -7 0 0 0 2 39 Beard Motorsports 175 26 -334 -1 0 0 0 1 40 Premium Motorsports 55 15 -345 -11 0 0 0 7 41 Rick Ware Racing 51 15 -345 0 0 0 0 8 42 Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 1 -359 -14 0 0 0 1
OK with delay: Six who could make Monday marks
RELATED: Race lineup " Monday schedule When the skies clear and the green flag drops today (1 p.m. ET, FOX), Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers will face a different type of Bristol. Pounded by rain over the past 24 hours, all of the rubber that accumulated onto the track, giving it grip, has been washed away. All of the resin-based VHT applied to the bottom of the track in an attempt to create a full-blown groove on the bottom? Who knows? What we do know: Some drivers and teams will adapt better than others. We studied the results of last year's four races that were delayed a day due to rain -- both Pocono races, the fall race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Bristol Night Race, which ran Sunday afternoon rather than the typical Saturday night. Some drivers excelled a day later more than others. With those results in mind, here are our six drivers to monitor today as you watch the race on FOX or as you make final tweaks to your Fantasy Live lineup. " Full fantasy preview here RELATED: Fantasy Live homepage 1. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing. He tops the list because of his win last year at Bristol in a rain-delayed race run the following day in overcast conditions … the exact forecast for Monday, as it turns out. Harvick also notched a fourth and a ninth at Pocono. He is one of just three drivers who finished in the top 10 in three of the four delayed races from 2016. 2. Brad Keselowski, Team Penske . Two top-five finishes at Pocono plus a seventh at Charlotte in the fall equal a team that understands how to adapt to ever-changing conditions. Crew chief Paul Wolfe is one of the sport's best strategists. 3. Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing. In addition to winning Pocono last year in the summer, Busch finished 10th at Pocono in August and eighth at Charlotte. Given his Bristol history and a veteran crew chief in Tony Gibson who's done this delayed race thing a time or two, this year's Daytona 500 champ makes the list. RELATED: Go deeper on driver stats 4. Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch finished in the top 10 in two of last year's four postponed races -- sixth at Charlotte and ninth at Pocono-2. We're giving him additional credit for his Bristol performance last year, though, where he led 256 of 500 laps but had to take his car to the garage with a broken suspension. 5. Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne's top-10 performances in last year's delayed races came at the bigger tracks (Charlotte, Pocono), but they were strong finishes -- third and sixth, respectively. Plus, his 10-consecutive lap averages during Saturday's practices were among the best in the field. 6. Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing. Yes, a wild card. Buescher's Pocono-2 win was based off great strategy and intuition, but don't discount that he finished fifth at Bristol while driving for Front Row Motorsports. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;