Joe Gibbs Racing appeals ‘inconsistent’ penalty to Matt Kenseth

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Joe Gibbs Racing will appeal the two-race suspension to Matt Kenseth for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.

In a statement the team said:

          The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents. There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during the appeal process.

Marty Snider first reported the JGR appeal during Tuesday’s NASCAR America on NBCSN. Snider said the team was informed of the penalty at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, and that Erik Jones likely would drive Kenseth’s car in any absence. 

NASCAR Talk has confirmed that JGR’s appeal will be expedited, meaning Kenseth’s case will be heard by a three-person panel this week before Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. If he loses, he can make a plea to Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss.

While Kenseth appeals the suspension, it can be deferred at NASCAR’s discretion. Depending on the timing of the appeal hearings, that means Kenseth could be driving his No. 20 Toyota in practice or qualifying at Texas this weekend in advance of Sunday’s race. The appeal likely would be settled before then, however.

When Kurt Busch was placed on indefinite suspension before the Daytona 500 in February, his appeal hearing and final appeal both were heard on the eve of the Daytona 500. Busch lost both and missed the biggest race of the season.