After taking the checkered flag at Kansas Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth's Toyota engine failed the post-race inspection.
Now, he and his Joe Gibbs Racing team are in a big hole.
NASCAR on ESPN tweeted about the severity of the penalties:
Huge penalties handed down to #20 Sprint Cup team of Matt Kenseth.50 points deducted, six race suspension for Jason Ratcliff and Joe Gibbs— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) April 24, 2013
NASCAR reported the violation on its website and expanded on the penalties.
Yahoo! Sports Nick Bromberg reported that, in addition to losing 50 points, Kenseth will not receive the three bonus points he would have otherwise received for this win when the Chase begins.
That is, if he makes the Chase—which will be a far more difficult task now.
Kenseth was sitting in eighth place in the Sprint Cup standings prior to this penalty. The loss of 50 points will push him back to 14th place in a tie with Jeff Gordon at 109 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson.
Bromberg added that JGR will appeal the suspension. He also passed along this comment from Gibbs: "It is our understanding that one of the eight connecting rods on the engine was ruled too light."
This is a big setback and a black eye for a team that otherwise was enjoying a banner season. JGR has taken the checkered in four of the eight races this season.
Kenseth won the STP 400 from the pole. He's had a strong season, and while these penalties put him and the No. 20 team in a big hole, it is certainly not something they can't overcome.
This is the second big-name team in less than a week that NASCAR has slapped with significant penalties. It hit the Penske team after the cars of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were found to have failed pre-race inspections.