NASCAR’s Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook, reduced the penalties levied against Penske Racing for violations at the Texas Motor Speedway.
What had been a six-race suspension for crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Brad Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Joey Logano), and three other crewmembers, has now been dropped to two points races. Points penalties and fines remained in place.
The races they all now miss are this weekend in Darlington, and the following two weeks in Charlotte for the non-points Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend.
Middlebrook last made a ruling to reduce penalties issued to Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports after last year’s Daytona 500. This ruling came after an initial appeal by Penske to NASCAR was upheld.
Overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Sophia Floersch was the fact that 19-year-old Dan Ticktum dominated and won the Macau Grand Prix – a victory that puts him closer to earning the superlicence required to allow him to race with Formula 1, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Ticktum won Macau’s qualification race as well as the Grand Prix, starting first in both events. For his victories, he earned 10 points, which combined with 25 for his runner-up finish in the European F3 Championship leaves him just five below the 40 needed for the license.
This was Ticktum’s second Macau Grand Prix victory.
“It was a dominant performance that I was preparing for,” Ticktum said on his web site. “I don’t think I’ve ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables were thrown at me but I handled them.”
On his way to victory lane, Ticktum had to survive several restarts including the lengthy red flag period following Floersch’s accident to repair the barrier.
“I can’t count how many safety car restarts we had to do,” Ticktum said. “It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can’t remember a weekend when I’ve put it all together so well.
“The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can’t thank Motopark enough for that. I’ve never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend.”