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Matt Kenseth goes down two laps after Atlanta pit-road infraction

917 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MotorsportRevolution

By Tom Jensen

Matt Kenseth led 47 laps in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but a costly pit-rod penalty may have cost him a shot at victory.
Just past the one-third mark of the race, Kenseth pitted for four tires and fuel on his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. When he did, his gasman placed a wedge-adjustment wrench on the trunk of Kenseth's car while he was fueling it.
By rules, the gasman cannot do anything other than fuel the car when the gas can is engaged. NASCAR caught the infraction and penalized the team.
Kenseth's crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, argued the case with NASCAR officials. While the discussion was going on, Kenseth got black-flagged. He ultimately was penalized one lap for the pit infraction and another for ignoring the black flag. It was a tough break for the driver of one of the fastest cars in the race.

Matt Kenseth goes down two laps after Atlanta pit-road infraction
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Matt Kenseth had his race derailed after an improper fueling penalty prompted NASCAR to black flag his No. 20 Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
During a pit stop, the Joe Gibbs Racing gas man placed a tool on the rear of Kenseth's Toyota Camry, which is illegal. According to the NASCAR rule book, "The Fueler must be in control of the fuel can at all times when fuel is being added to the vehicle. The Fueler will not be permitted to perform any adjustments or other pit stop procedures while the fuel can coupler is engaged with the vehicle-mounted adapter."
As crew chief Jason Ratcliff attempted to get clarification from NASCAR officials, Kenseth continued to run laps despite being black-flagged. He was then shown the black flag with a diagonal white stripe, meaning NASCAR had stopped scoring his laps. He lost one lap that way, then another lap when he served the pass-through penalty.
Kenseth, who was unaware he had been black-flagged, was unhappy with the lack of communication from his team.
"I didn't know we had any kind of problem. Nobody told me," Kenseth said over his in-car radio. "Pretty much just threw our race away unless we get everything to fall in our lap."
Ratcliff tried to calm down his driver. "I can't see the black-and-white flag when I'm out of the pit box arguing the case."
He had led 47 laps to that point.
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If they had just served the penalty without arguing it, they would only be one lap down rather than two. And then, maybe they'd still have a chance.
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That did really suck for him.
You learn something new everyday. Yeaterday I learned about fueling a Cup car.
Penalty costs Kenseth chance for Atlanta win

By Seth Eggert

In this article are some of the reactions of the penalty from Matt Kenseth and Joe Gibbs, and an explanation of the penalty and why it is in effect.

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