What does Brad Kiselowski’s penalty mean to driver, team and NASCAR

by Bob Bocras
NASCAR FOX Sports writer

Martinsville, Virginia – Brad Keselowskiholds one of the biggest penalties in NASCAR History, he could have continued the appeal process by taking another swing off the bat.

After the three-member NASCAR Appeals Committee dismissed his appeal, Keselowski could have requested a hearing with the NASCAR Final Appeals Officer.

Instead, Kiselovsky chose to reluctantly accept the punishment.

“It’s time for us to move on and focus on what we need to win, and the rest is just noise for us,” Kiselovsky said Friday, the day after the appeal hearing.

But it is not an industry noise. It’s a message that NASCAR and teams will consider when deciding how to approach assembling NASCAR Cup Series cars for years to come.

Brad Keselowski accepts NASCAR penalty

Brad Keselowski accepts NASCAR penalty

Brad Keselowski accepts his sentence related to assembling his next generation car. “We should have done a better job communicating with NASCAR,” he says.

Kiselovsky understands why the punishment is so serious. NASCAR went for a new car this season, with most parts and parts supplied by vendors, which aims to cut costs through teams that don’t spend millions researching and developing parts and components.

With single-source suppliers, though, NASCAR needed to set up a strict penalty structure to prevent teams from fiddling with parts.

When Keselowski’s car was examined after the March race in Atlanta, he said NASCAR officials found a modified tail plate. NASCAR penalized Keselowski with 100 points (he earned 31 in Atlanta) and 10 playoff points (if he made the qualifying) while crew chief Matt McCaul was suspended for four races and fined $100,000.

NASCAR, citing the fact that Keselowski can still file a final appeal until Tuesday’s deadline, said it would not comment on anything about Keselowski’s penalty or offense.

Keselowski said that due to a lack of supplies with the introduction of the next generation car, his team had to fix the tail rather than get a new one. He noted that at the time they had violated the rule, the situation they were in could have resulted in a breach of the rule without the intent of doing so.

“It had a major feature that NASCAR deemed was not sufficiently reformed, and it’s a difficult situation,” he said. “We didn’t want the tailboard running. We didn’t have any new tailboards to put on the car.

“We had a three-race back panel, and we did some repairs on it. Maybe we could have done a better job on the repair, and we put NASCAR in a tough spot.”

Brad Kiselowski talks about why his death penalty appeal was rejected

Brad Kiselowski talks about why his death penalty appeal was rejected

Brad Keselowski, whose penalty shootout appeal was rejected on Thursday, explains what his team was penalized for following the race in Atlanta.

So who was right and who was wrong? Once enough tails are available, NASCAR probably won’t allow teams to fix tails, which they are currently allowed to do.

“I wish, quite frankly, that we’d done a better job fixing it, but we can’t go back to it,” Kiselovsky said. “I understand NASCAR’s position on that.

“It’s the kind of thing where everyone is right and everyone is wrong at the same time. In the end, we have to learn to be better for it.”

In order to learn, teams need to know exactly what has been accomplished. Several drivers have called for NASCAR to be more upfront about which parts and pieces it doesn’t comply with as part of its harsher punishment system.

NASCAR, in recent years, has declined to provide details about the infractions, citing the need to move forward after the appeal is complete. But several years ago, NASCAR offered parts and illegal parts for all to see.

It’s a cat and mouse game. If you show everyone what’s illegal, they’ll know what they shouldn’t do. He reveals the secrets of one team to all the other teams – a penalty of some kind. But it could also allow teams to see a way to improve the illegal piece and have the same effect while making it more difficult to detect.

“We think we know what [they did]Car driver Denny Hamlin said about Kiselovsky’s violation, but we don’t know for sure. “There has to be a level of transparency there. We know, in general, that if we stick to the rules that NASCAR gives us, we’ll be in good shape.

“Now they have opened some areas here and there because of the supplies,” he added [shortages] And driver comfort things. … [If] It was such a big thing, it would be hard to convince them that you’re not trying to gain an advantage.”

Keselowski swears it wasn’t.

“Everything we did was done in good faith, and no one was saying, ‘Hey, let’s trick that tail, and we can make the car go faster,'” Kiselovsky said.

“It’s quite clear that’s not the case, but it’s also clear that we should have done a better job communicating with NASCAR and with our parts repair process.”

Brad Keselowski on his chances in the playoffs

Brad Keselowski on his chances in the playoffs

Brad Keselowski assesses his playoff chances in the Cup Series with a 100-point penalty against him after he’s been backed.

As co-owner of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, Keselowski sat on the appeal. Most drivers try not to get involved, and even his teammate Chris Bucher didn’t focus on what had happened.

“If I hadn’t received an email, I wouldn’t have known it was over,” Boecher said. “It’s not something I’m really interested in. It’s not my side of things, and it just gets in the way of things you should focus on.”

Kevin Harvick, who drives at Stewart-Haas Racing, said the same. It’s up to the competition director and crew chiefs to handle building the vehicle.

“I just do my job and let them do theirs,” he said. “That’s the best way to do it. If I stick my nose in their business, it’s going to confuse things anyway.”

That’s all well and good until a 100 point penalty kick comes in. And for Kisilovsky, if NASCAR continues to inflict heavy penalties, in some ways, his sanction can be seen as justified. But NASCAR has been known to say it will ramp up penalties and something else it’s doing – and it will do so on a consistent basis.

“I feel like NASCAR is in a tough spot,” Kiselovsky said. “We have a brand new car that comes with a completely new deterrent model. I think if you look historically, no, it wouldn’t have justified that level of punishment, but it doesn’t matter.

“We’re in a new paradigm, a new world, and NASCAR is doing things that teams like us have asked them to do so hard in enforcement. I think the final test is we wouldn’t have to get a penalty – it’s if someone else gets a penalty of a similar nature for doing similar things.”

Chris Bucher says the punishment hasn’t changed the team’s approach

Chris Bucher says the punishment hasn't changed the team's approach

RFK Racing Team driver Chris Boecher says teammate Brad Keselowski’s penalty has not changed his team’s approach, and he has paid little attention to the appeal.

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think out loud

The driver was in the in-house care center with the flash and the care center official with an unspecified injury as a result of an altercation following Friday’s intervention at the Xfinity Series.

Is fighting a good thing? Sam Mayer-Ty Gibbs’ post-race rumble will be a part of Martinsville High reels for years.

You never want to see someone injured, but you do want the drivers to show feelings. However, that interaction got a little out of hand, particularly with Gibbs crashing his Meyer car on the cold lap and pit road after the race.

Gibbs could potentially be fined for sending the message that dangerous acts with a car past the square flag — and people sent to a care center — will not be condoned.

Today’s stats

On Saturday, Hendrick Motorsports topped 98.5% of Martinsville’s laps (397 of 403), the team’s highest percentage ever in a race.

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they said that

“I felt like the last year left us with a very bitter aftertaste because I felt like we came so close to getting a lot of wins in the second half of the year, and man, I just felt like things were going to happen, and things would break down right at the last minute.” William Byronwho has already won twice in 2022

Pockrass has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 after working for ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene, and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram Tweet embed. Looking for more NASCAR content? Subscribe to the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass!


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