Joey Logano's car was rolled to the grid after the field fired its engines for Saturday night's NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway because of a rear-end housing issue that was found during pre-race inspection on both Penske Racing cars.
NASCAR officials confiscated parts from the backs of Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski's cars Saturday afternoon, and the teams then scrambled to change the configuration and parts in the rear of their cars to be ready to race. After Saturday's race, Keselowski was angry and said that his team has been targeted over the last week in the garage area.
"I have one good thing to say and that's my team and effort they put in today and fighting back with the absolute bull(crap) that's been the last seven days in this garage area, the things I've seen in the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in and I'm not happy about it," Keselowski said. "I don't have anything positive to say and I probably should just leave it at that"
But he continued, telling reporters that "There's so much stuff going on you have no (expletive) idea what's going on. And that's not your fault and that's not a slam on you. I could tell you there's nobody, no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we've been treated over the last seven days in absolutely shameful." (Thanks to Jim Noble, click here for the full text of Keselowski's quotes.)
It's unclear why Keselowski feels his team has been targeted, though both drivers were able to overcome their pre-race adversity and post top 10 finishes despite each being a lap down at some point in the race. Logano wound up fifth and Keselowski was ninth after getting his lap back on the final restart with just 16 laps to go.
"It was a little too close for my comfort, to be honest with you," Logano said about being rolled to the grid so late. "Having to start from the back, worked our way up. (Crew chief) Todd Gordon did a great job keeping everyone under control, not getting overwhelmed by everything, focused in, made his adjustments, got our car a lot better than it was."
Before the race, NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said that what the sanctioning body found in the rear end housings of the Penske cars was not "in the spirit of the rules."
After the pre-race adjustments were made to NASCAR's liking, both cars passed inspection and were ready for the race. However in Logano's case, that barely happened. His car was on the scales being weighed as the command to fire engines was given.
Both drivers were allowed to start in their qualified starting positions after the issues were found, but because Logano's car wasn't on the grid when the engines were started, he had to start in the back. Any fines, suspensions or points penalties will likely be announced on Monday or Tuesday, though Tuesday is when Keselowski visits the White House as the 2012 champion.
- Sports & Recreation
- Motor Racing
- Joey Logano
- Brad Keselowski