Now that the appeal process is over, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller has clarified the official stance of the sanctioning body on the RFK Racing penalty for modifying a single-source supplied part.
NASCAR issued an L2 level penalty against Brad Keselowski’s No. 6 team last month. The team lost its appeal of the four-race suspension for crew chief Matt McCall, the loss of 100 driver and owner points, and 10 playoff points. RFK Racing did not make a final appeal, which the team had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file.
Wednesday morning, Miller told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio the repair policy is “very straightforward.” Miller’s comments were the first from NASCAR on the infraction, as it did not want to offer details until after the matter was closed.
“Any repair that is done is to bring the part back to the original specification,” Miller said. “On this part, that was not adhered to. There was some body mounting landings that are a part of the rear facia that weren’t brought back to the original specification, and that’s a key design feature of the part. The repair policy was not followed, so that’s really what it comes down to. A critical dimension of the part was altered.
“As we worked through what the Next Gen car was going to be over that long journey with the teams, one of the things was that these single-source parts had be strictly enforced or we’d get right back to the place where we were with the other car with constant development. A strict deterrence model was asked for by the folks in the garage and it’s our job to do that. We said we would, and a key design was not returned to its specification and that’s what led to the penalty.”
The part in question was a rear tail panel that Keselowski told a group of reporters at Martinsville Speedway the team had to repair because it did not have a new one to run. Keselowski also admitted his team could have done better and he understood NASCAR’s position.
“It had a key feature that NASCAR deemed was not repaired adequately enough,” said Keselowski. “It was a tough situation. We didn’t want to run the tail. We didn’t have any new tail panels to put on the car and we had a tail panel with three races on it. We did some repairs to it. We probably could have done a better job on the repair and we put NASCAR in a tough spot.”