Saturday, April 13, 2013
Updated: April 15, 1:05 AM ET
Penske Fords face potential penalties
By Terry Blount
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Joey Logano's No. 22 Ford barely made it to the track Saturday night for the start of the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway after the car failed a pre-race inspection and had more problems on a second inspection moments before the race began.
Logano's crew had to overhaul the rear end of his car in a mad scramble just to get on the track, and somehow the driver wound up with a fifth-place finish Saturday night.
"If you'd told me I'd finish fifth today, I'd have given you a hug," Logano said after Kyle Busch took the checkered flag. "I'm pumped up about our finish and the way we got that."
Penalties are possible for both Penske Racing Fords, Logano's No. 22 car and the No. 2 car driven by 2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski. Both teams were forced to change the rear-end housing after going through a pre-race inspection.
The No. 56 Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr. failed a post-race inspection when the front end of the car was too low. Truex finished second, but penalties are likely because of the post-race issue.
As for the Penske cars, NASCAR officials did not say why the change was required of the rear-end housing. Keselowski's car went back through inspection a second time and lined up on pit road about 15 minutes before the call to start the engines. But Logano's car had additional problems the second time through inspection.
The team finally got the car to pit road after the engines fired, but Logano had to start in the back of the field for arriving late to the starting grid. Logano would have started 18th
Keselowski kept his starting position of 16th.
The original rear-end housing parts on both cars were confiscated by NASCAR officials, who said the situation will be evaluated further next week.
Similar mechanical issues have brought major NASCAR penalties in the past, including championship points being docked, crew chief suspensions and monetary fines.
Keselowski, along with team owner Roger Penske and most of the No. 2 team, will be at the White House on Tuesday for an annual ceremony where the president honors the defending Sprint Cup champion.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.