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April 7, 2022

Penalties against RFK Racing No. 6 team stand after appeal hearing

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel ruled Thursday that penalties against RFK Racing’s No. 6 Ford team and driver-owner Brad Keselowski will stand.

A three-member panel heard the appeal Thursday, confirming that RFK Racing violated Sections 14.1 and 14.5 of the NASCAR Rule Book. Those sections both relate to modification of a single-source supplied part on the Next Gen stock car that debuted in the Cup Series this year.

RELATED: Brad Keselowski driver page | RFK Racing team page

NASCAR competition officials handed down an L2-grade penalty March 24 after an inspection of RFK’s No. 6 Ford at its Research & Development Center after the previous weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That punishment included 100-point penalties in both the driver and owner standings, the loss of 10 playoff points, a four-race suspension to crew chief Matt McCall and a $100,000 fine.

After Thursday’s ruling, those penalties have been upheld. The decision keeps Keselowski in 31st place in the Cup Series standings.

RFK Racing had indicated its intent to appeal the penalties a day after they were first issued, but instead of deferring the crew chief’s suspension, McCall has sat out the last two races. Engineer Josh Sell has served as interim crew chief, helping the No. 6 team register finishes of 14th (Circuit of The Americas) and 13th (Richmond) the last two weekends.

The organization had the option to appeal the decision to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, but the team released a statement saying it would not.

NASCAR officials announced Jan. 24 that a tougher deterrence system would be in place for 2022, with a three-tiered structure that marked its most strict penalties for alterations to or unapproved fabrication of Next Gen-specific parts. RFK Racing was the first organization to draw a penalty at the L2 level under the new system.

The three members of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel who served in Thursday’s hearing were: Mr. Dixon Johnston, Mr. Bill Mullis and Mr. Dale Pinilis.