Brad Keselowski will be without crew chief Paul Wolfe two races instead of six. (Getty)
John Middlebrook, NASCAR's chief appellate officer, upheld Penske Racing's points penalties and fines but reduced the suspensions that were levied against the team after NASCAR found violations in the rear-end housing of the Penske cars before the April 13 race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Crew chiefs Todd Gordon and Paul Wolfe, along with Penske Competition Director Travis Geisler, were suspended six races along with car chiefs Jerry Kelley (Brad Keselowski) and Raymond Fox (Joey Logano) and team engineers Brian Wilson (Keselowski) and Samuel Stanley (Logano). On Tuesday, Middlebrook reduced all crew suspensions to two races.
Logano and Keselowski were penalized 25 points and Gordon and Wolfe were fined $100,000 by NASCAR. The points penalties and fines stand. All previous penalties had been upheld by NASCAR's appeals panel previously. The crew members will be eligible to return to the track at Dover.
Last year, Middlebrook heard the final appeal of Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson's team regarding a confiscated C-post from Daytona. Johnson was originally penalized 25 points and crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec were suspended six races. Middlebrook overturned those penalties but kept the $100,000 fine for Knaus in place.
On Wednesday, Joe Gibbs Racing will appeal its penalties from after Kansas, when a connecting rod in Matt Kenseth's winning engine was too light. If JGR is unhappy with the appeals panel's decision then, it can also take the step of taking its case to Middlebrook.
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