RFK Racing Responds to NASCAR Penalty

Brad Keselowski

Getty RFK Racing has announced it will appeal penalties.

The sanctioning body announced on March 24 L2-level penalties for RFK Racing and the No. 6 team of Brad Keselowski due to a violation of Sections 14.1 and 14.5, the modification of a single source supplied part, in the NASCAR Rule Book. Now the NASCAR Cup Series team has responded with a brief statement.

“In connection to the penalties announced yesterday by NASCAR, we have filed a notice of appeal and look forward to the opportunity to work through the process,” RFK Racing said in a statement on March 25. The team had three business days to decide whether it would appeal, and it embraced the opportunity.

Neither NASCAR nor RFK Racing provided further details about the part that led to the failed inspection during teardown at the NASCAR R&D Center. This is nothing out of the ordinary, especially when there is a possibility that the team will appeal the decision. Though NASCAR noted in the original penalty report that the violation involved the body of the No. 6.

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The L2-Level Penalties Dropped Keselowski in the Standings

Brad Keselowski

GettyBrad Keselowski will have to stockpile points at COTA.

There were multiple parts of the penalty issued on March 24. NASCAR fined crew chief Matt McCall $100,000 while suspending him for the next four points-paying events. The sanctioning body also docked Keselowski 100 driver points and the team 100 owner points.

This penalty resulted in Keselowski only having 22 points ahead of the trip to Circuit of the Americas. He now sits 35th overall in the championship standings, immediately behind part-time drivers Garrett Smithley (28 points) and David Ragan (48 points), instead of around the elimination line.

Keselowski will set out to gain ground during the second-ever Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas. However, he will not have McCall sitting atop the pit box. The veteran crew chief will sit out this weekend while engineer Josh Sell will serve as the interim crew chief.

Keselowski Faces Steep Odds To Win

Regardless of the outcome of the appeal process, Keselowski will still need to stack points during the weekend in Texas. Though he will face fairly steep odds to win the second-ever Cup Series race at COTA.

According to the initial odds, Keselowski faces 80-1 odds to win at the road course while Chase Elliott tops the list at 3-1. There are several other drivers ahead of Keselowski, including Kevin Harvick (50-1), Alex Bowman (33-1), Kurt Busch (33-1), Tyler Reddick (25-1), and Ross Chastain (25-1) among others.

One reason for this ranking is Keselowski’s history. For example, he finished 19th overall in the first Cup Series race at COTA. Additionally, none of Keselowski’s 35 career wins have taken place at road courses. He has 10 wins at tracks longer than two miles, 18 at intermediate tracks, and seven at short tracks. This run includes a whopping six wins at Talladega Superspeedway.

For comparison, he has 31 road course starts with seven top-five finishes. A trio of second-place finishes at Watkins Glen International serve as his career-best performances at road courses.

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