NASCAR Penalizes Blaney, Keselowski Teams After Gateway Inspection

Getty Ryan Blaney (left) & Brad Keselowski (right) watch practice at COTA.

NASCAR kicked off the weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway with pre-race inspection on June 2. Two Ford Performance teams received penalties after multiple failures.

According to an update from NASCAR, the No. 6 RFK Racing Ford Mustang and the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang both failed inspection twice. As a result, both teams lost the ability to select their pit stalls after qualifying.

NASCAR also ejected a crew member from each team. Brad Keselowski will not have car chief Nick Case for the weekend while Ryan Blaney will move forward without car chief Raymond Fox.

Both entries passed inspection on the third attempt, which meant that the drivers were able to qualify. Blaney had the second-fastest time behind Kyle Busch, which secured a spot on the front row. Keselowski had the 19th-fastest time, which put him on the 10th row.

Keselowski Had an Issue During Practice

GettyBrad Keselowski practices at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The driver of the No. 6 Ford Mustang has been strong overall in his second season with RFK Racing. He already has six top-10 finishes, which matches the number he set in 2022. He also has three top-fives, including a runner-up at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The race at World Wide Technology Raceway provided Keselowski with the opportunity to add another strong performance to his total. Though he dealt with an early issue in the morning’s practice session.

Keselowski went out for his opening run at WWT Raceway, and he shredded a left-rear tire. He was able to avoid a collision that damaged the RFK Racing Ford Mustang and forced him to use a backup car. Though this took away some crucial practice time at a track where Keselowski only has limited experience.

Blaney Wants To Build Momentum

GettyRyan Blaney practices at World Wide Technology Raceway.

The trip to World Wide Technology Raceway provides Blaney with an opportunity. He can try to build on his Coca-Cola 600 win and put together a strong summer that will help him pile up playoff points.

The track outside of St. Louis is a quarter-mile shorter than Charlotte Motor Speedway, but it presents some of the same hurdles. The track uses the intermediate package at WWT Raceway instead of the low-downforce short track package.

For the Ford teams, they have to worry about the downforce they can generate on these tracks. This is something that Joey Logano pointed out prior to the Coca-Cola 600. He explained that one minor miss on the setup can lead to a frustrating day for the teams.

“It’s no secret that we’ve struggled a bit on the intermediates, mile-and-a-halves, just searching for speed and figuring out the new nose we have,” Blaney told media members on June 3. “It’s been a little bit of a struggle. I’m really proud of the efforts from everybody — Ford, Penske, and Roush Yates Engines. I mean we were all working around the clock, trying to get better.

“I think hopefully what we found at Charlotte — to have the speed we had to contend with the cars that have been really good on the mile-and-a-halves — hopefully, we can carry that forward to other mile-and-a-halves, and maybe even everywhere else. Everything kind of matters. So, that was definitely a shot in the arm, for sure, and hopefully, we can continue that success and that speed.”

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