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Matt Kenseth Hit with Huge Penalties for Failed Inspection

KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 21:  Team owner Joe Gibbs looks on as Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 The Home Depot/Husky Toyota, races to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on April 21, 2013 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 24, 2013

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:

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. 

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