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Matt Kenseth Rocked With Sanctions for One Illegal Engine Part

Matt Kenseth
(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Matt Kenseth, you never really won that race at Kansas. It would seem at first like a Jedi mind trick. Not really. The Force is with NASCAR as Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing got waylaid with severe penalties by having engine parts that were not to specifications.

Kenseth will get credit for winning the race for his career numbers, but all the perks that go with it in the current season are gone. No bonus points for the Chase for the Championship and he officially has just one win for 2013. Kenseth loses 50 driver points, his pole position, and his crew chief Jason Ratcliff for 6 races.

What the 20 team lost is quite significant. NASCAR went up the ladder and spiked owner Joe Gibbs and manufacturer Toyota as well. Gibbs got docked 50 owner points and had his owner’s license pulled for 6 weeks. Toyota was stripped of 5 manufacturer points. For the uninitiated, there is not just a driver who wins a championship. The owners and manufacturers each have separate platforms beyond the driver in which to win a title.

How did Toyota become involved in this? They supplied the part within the engine that was deemed illegal. One single connecting rod within the engine supplied to Kenseth’s car was 2.7 grams too light. The connecting rod is the piece that connects the piston to the crankshaft. Just think, if they had put that engine in Kyle Busch’s car which was crazy loose and ended up decorating the front of Joey Logano’s car on Sunday in Kansas we wouldn’t have this discussion. Plus, Brad Keselowski doesn’t have much of a sympathetic ear about how the sanctioning body is out to get him.


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