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03/23 2017

Keselowski and Harvick hit with points penalty, crew chiefs suspended    By: Jim Utter, NASCAR Editor

Two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series crew chiefs were suspended Wednesday following penalties issued by NASCAR for incurring encumbered finishes during last weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Paul Wolfe, crew chief for driver Brad Keselowski, was fined $65,000 and suspended from the next three Cup series points races after the team’s No. 2 Ford failed post-race rear wheel steer on the Laser Inspection Station.

The team has also been docked 35 driver points and 35 team owner points.

Keselowski’s infraction was first announced following postrace inspection Sunday night at the track.

Team Penske officials released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“We have acknowledged the penalties levied against the No. 2 team following last weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. The race cars returned to the race shop today and we are in the process of evaluating the area in question,” the statement said.

“In the meantime, we have decided Brian Wilson will serve as Brad Keselowski’s crew chief at Auto Club Speedway while we evaluate our approach relative to today’s penalties.”

Rodney Childers, crew chief for driver Kevin Harvick, was fined $25,000 and suspended for one Cup points race after an unapproved track bar assembly was discovered during inspection Wednesday of the car at NASCAR’s research and development center in Concord, N.C.

Harvick’s team has also been assessed 10 driver points and 10 team owner points.

Harvick’s No. 4 Ford was one of the cars NASCAR took to its R&D Center following Sunday’s race for further inspection.