Panel upholds Penske penalties, with further appeal planned

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A panel has upheld penalties issued to Penske Racing after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The three-person National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel, Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky, former NASCAR vp Paul Brooks and Bowman-Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis, unanimously upheld the penalties following Penske’s appeal.

The Associated Press’ Jenna Fryer tweeted that Penske will appeal to the next level, Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. Fryer added it is unclear whether the suspended crewmembers can work in the garage this weekend at Talladega, or wait for Middlebrook to defer the suspensions.

Middlebrook was last heard from a year ago, when he overturned a penalty issued against Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec, for a violation ahead of the Daytona 500.

At present, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano’s crew chiefs, Penske Racing team manager Travis Geisler and four other crewmembers, are set to incur a six-race suspension with the crew chiefs also each fined $100,000.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”