Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kenseth's Championship Odds Don't Change Despite NASCAR Penalties

The No. 20 team figures to keep rolling along strong in 2013
LAS VEGAS -- Matt Kenseth was docked 50 driver points, and crew chief Jason Ratcliff was suspended seven races and fined $200,000, as Kenseth’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Toyota failed inspection this week following his win Sunday at Kansas. The car was found to have an engine connecting rod that did not meet the minimum weight requirement, and NASCAR handed down one the heaviest penalties its ever imposed.

Some may call it cheating, but we call it creative engineering. It has been, and always will be, part of the game. It’s just a little tougher to get away with it now. With such a heavy fine handed down by NASCAR, is it possible that the governing body just isn’t happy about the JGR cars winning all four races on the down force tracks, where the team appears to have a considerable advantage over its competition?

Maybe the weight of the rod was the reason for their success, maybe it wasn't. But the penalties give other teams – who seem to be in a tattle-tale mood lately – some justification for their performances; perhaps the playing field just hasn’t been level. This will surely lead to teams ratting out others. But NASCAR is still about catching up or get passed.

Meanwhile, Kenseth may have been docked points, but he still finished first and kept the prize money, and bettors who took Kenseth at 8-to-1 to win at Kansas still got paid.

Here in Las Vegas, sports books didn’t bat an eye regarding Kenseth’s odds to win the Sprint Cup championship. After being docked 50 points, Kenseth dropped from eighth in the Cup standings to 14th, 38 points behind 10th-place Jamie McMurray. But if the performance he’s displayed early this season continues over the next 18 races, he’ll make the Chase. If not, he may get in with a wild card system that rewards wins. Once the Chase starts, the 50-point penalty means nothing.

Read More Here.....LVH NASCAR Championship Odds

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