Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Toyota Takes Blame for Kenseth's Engine Violation

The illegal connecting rod in Matt Kenseth’s race-winning engine that led to harsh penalties for Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing Wednesday came from a vendor and slipped through the quality control process, a Toyota Racing Development official said.

Kenseth was docked 50 points and crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended for seven races because a connecting rod in the team’s engine was too light. Team owner Joe Gibbs also had his NASCAR license suspended and the team was docked 50 owner points.

TRD President Lee White took responsibility for the major NASCAR infraction Wednesday and said he believes having one connecting rod 2.7 grams below the 525-gram minimum wouldn’t have given Kenseth a competitive advantage in his victory Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

“If you break a rod, it’s catastrophic,” White said. “You can’t afford to do that.

“No one is going to use heavy components, but no one is intentionally going to make con rods light, particularly one out of seven. … I guarantee you there is no performance gain because of this oversight.”

White wouldn’t say whether TRD would pay the fine or reimburse the Gibbs organization, which began using engines built by TRD in 2012.(SportingNews)