Brad Keselowski's crew chief to miss Talladega NASCAR race as Penske awaits appeals process
Brad Keselowski crew chief Paul Wolfe will not travel with Team Penske this weekend to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway.
Veteran engineer Brian Wilson will return to the pit box in the role he’s assumed sporadically since the original penalty was handed out on March 22 and upheld on April 12. That decision included a $65,000 fine, a three-race suspension, a 35-point deduction for Keselowski in the drivers’ standings and an equal deduction for Roger Penske in the owner standings.
Further, Team Penske has withdrawn its request to defer Wolfe’s suspension, a request that was granted. In short, this is more about the championship points. Keselowski is currently fifth in the standings and 71 points behind championship leader Kyle Larson. The elimination of the points deduction would move him to second in points and 36 behind Larson.
The championship leader at the end of the regular season will gain an additional 15 playoff points that can be used throughout the final 10 races of the season.
The final appeals hearing will be held Tuesday at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. This will be the second race Wolfe has missed since his team was penalized for a post-race laser inspection station failure following the Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway.
Keselowski finished fifth in that race but failed rear wheel steer on that platform.
Wolfe sat out the Auto Club 400 the week after the Phoenix weekend, and Team Penske officials filed notice for an appeal. On April 12, a three-member National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld the original penalties.
If the original ruling is upheld, Wolfe will then have to sit out one more race, the Go Bowling 400 on May 13 at Kansas Speedway.