Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick penalized for Phoenix infractions

Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick will both be without their crew chiefs for one race after NASCAR penalized both drivers for infractions at Phoenix Raceway.

Keselowski’s Team Penske team has been docked 35 driver and owner points after the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) champion’s No. 2 Ford failed post-race inspection of the car’s rear wheel measurements by the Laser Inspection Station (LIS) after Sunday’s Camping World 500.

Paul Wolfe, Keselowski’s crew chief, has been fined $65,000 and suspended for three MENCS events as a result of the penalties.

Team Penske released a statement shortly after the announcement, confirming the infraction and announcing Brian Wilson as Wolfe’s replacement for the next three events.

The statement reads: “We have acknowledged the penalties levied against the No. 2 team following last weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. The race cars returned to the race shop today and we are in the process of evaluating the area in question. In the meantime, we have decided Brian Wilson will serve as Brad Keselowski’s crew chief at Auto Club Speedway while we evaluate our approach relative to today’s penalties.”

On a similar note, Harvick’s No. 4 team was docked 10 driver and owner points after the Stewart-Haas Racing driver’s machine was observed with an unapproved track bar assembly.

Harvick’s car was one of the few taken to NASCAR’s Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., following Sunday’s race.

Rodney Childers, Harvick’s crew chief, has been fined $25,000 and suspended for one MENCS event as a result of the penalty.

In the XFINITY Series, neither MENCS regular Austin Dillon nor rookie Cole Custer were fined for their on-track altercation in Saturday’s DC Solar 200. Dillon created controversy when his pinned Custer’s No. 00 against the outside wall under a caution flag after contact between the two led Dillon to crash in the late stages of the race.

NASCAR, who eliminated Dillon from the race after the incident, will instead meet with both drivers this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing announced Thursday that they intend to appeal Harvick’s post-Phoenix penalty.

The organization released the following statement Thursday afternoon: “Stewart-Haas Racing has officially requested an appeal hearing regarding the penalties levied against the No. 4 team and have also requested a deferral of the penalties until the appeal process is complete.”

NASCAR will defer the team’s penalties until a ruling is made on the appeal.

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