Story Highlights

  • Point penalty decreased to 12 from 50 and win of Kenseth Kansas stands
  • Kenseth says that decrease in the penalties is “pretty right”
  • The crew chief suspended to be filled in by Wally Brown this weekend

DARLINGTON, S.C. –As text messages regarding decision of an appeals panel of NASCAR got long, Matt Kenseth became happier.

Kenseth said this Friday, “I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. They did what?'”They gave us that back?”

While speaking to the reporters first time after the team penalties of Joe Gibbs Racing No.20 were overturned majorly this Wednesday, Kenseth said that he happened to be “pleasantly surprised” about this decision but that he had also expected a bit of reduction,

Before, Kenseth said that the penalties of NESCAR were “borderline shameful” and “grossly unfair.”

At Darlington Raceway, he said, “Obviously, I’m happy they got reduced. The penalties were pretty crushing before they got reduced, so I really applaud NASCAR for having the appeals process and putting that in place to have some people look at it after the dust settles a little bit and be objective and look at all the facts and make a decision.”

The appeals panel, with three members, lessened many such elements of penalty which were very severe. Points penalty of Kenseth was lessened to 12 from 50, suspension of the chief of crew Jason Ratcliff was decreased to one week from six weeks. The win of Kenseth’s Kansas would count again toward Chase and ability of Gibbs to collect the owner points got restored.

Kenseth admired the panel of appeals for considering all facts and also said that they “got it pretty right.”

He said, “You know, for some reason, I had a pretty good feeling about Wednesday. I didn’t know if we would have gotten a reduction that much, but I felt more confident than any other appeal I’ve ever heard about.

“I think everybody was shocked when the penalties got handed out to start with, so I felt pretty good it was going to get reduced.”

Ratcliff would not be at track Friday and Saturday but according to Kenseth, he will monitor the information of team and the changes from North Carolina’s shop.

Ratcliff will be filled in for by Wally Brown this weekend.

Kenseth said, “I know they’ve worked really hard this week to make sure they had a plan in place. Obviously, Wally knows what he’s doing. I think it’ll be OK.”

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