The Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway was one of the most hard-fought races of the NASCAR season so far. Teams battled a slick, evolving, track, changes in weather, and close, contact-filled racing with tempers boiling over.
For some drivers such as Tony Stewart, victory was the result of hard work and 400 miles of determination. For others such as Jimmie Johnson, their results were not what they had hoped for, or deserving of the caliber of race which they ran.
Yet, for Penske Racing driver and reigning Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski, there was initial joy, replaced by worry once it was discovered the blue deuce had failed post-race inspection for being too low.
This was especially shocking considering it was crew chief Paul Wolfe’s first week back atop the pit box. Wolfe was suspended for two races, as well as the Sprint All-Star Race, for having rear end components fail inspection at Texas Motor Speedway.
After having disastrous finishes of 32nd at Darlington Raceway and 36th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Keselowski had to be overjoyed to claw his way to a fifth-place finish. Although the finish will stand, the points will not, and Keselowski will likely fall to 10th in the standings, nearly out of Chase contention.
As to what the penalties will be, only time will tell. NASCAR usually announces their penalties during the middle of the week, but due to the repeat nature of the penalties, expect them to be big, and the team may be unable to appeal. Earlier in this season, also at Texas Motor Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. was docked six points for having his car be too low after the race.
I believe a loss of 10 to 12 points is in order, alongside a financial loss for team owner Roger Penske. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Wolfe be forced to disappear in favor of Kevin Buskirk again.
Another setback has occurred for the former Champion, one that has put him in the center of the ever-evolving 10th place standings fight. Although everything right now is speculation, things should once again look different for Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing as the tour heads to Pocono Raceway next week.
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