Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Matt Kenseth, was suspended by NASCAR on Tuesday for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano during the Sprint Cup Series race, the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. The team appealed the ruling and that penalty was upheld earlier today by the three member appeals panel. That fact led Kenseth and JGR to appeal to the final level that is decided by one person, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer. That process was also concluded today, and once again the suspension was upheld. The officer did, however, reduce the term of the probation from six months to end of this year.
Matt Kenseth will not compete at Texas or Phoenix and will be eligible to return to competition at the season finale in Homestead.
Kenseth commented on the decision saying, “It didn’t turn out like we wanted. I’m obviously more than a little disappointed on the decision and the penalties to start with.” he continued, “I’m not going to change who I am and I’m not going to change what I stand for, I’m not going to change how I race.”
The decision today made Matt Kemseth the first Cup Series driver in NASCAR history to be suspended for something that happened in a Cup Series race.
National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Statement
Today the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss, heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Nov. 3, 2015 to Matt Kenseth (driver) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #20 at Martinsville Speedway.
The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8.
The original penalty assessed included suspension from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and placed on NASCAR probation for six months following the issuance of the Penalty Notice.
Earlier today, a three-person National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard the appeal and made the following decisions:
- The Appellant violated the rules set forth in the Penalty notice;
- The Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty levied by NASCAR.
Upon hearing this afternoon’s testimony, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer made the following decisions:
- The Appellant violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice;
- The Penalty is amended to: “Suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Placed on NASCAR probation through December 31, 2015.”
The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties.