How NASCAR’s Major Penalties Against Brad Keselowski’s Team May Impact His Playoff Hopes

by Jonathan Howard

NASCAR is not very happy with Brad Keselowski and his team. The No. 6 and RFK Racing now have hefty penalties and a fine. This season is a challenge for each and every team with the Next Gen cars. However, NASCAR has made it clear they will not be lenient with teams for unapproved modifications and other changes.

Apparently, Keselowski and his team have really messed up with their latest modification and the whole team is going to pay. Literally, with money and points. NASCAR is going to fine Keselowski’s crew chief Matt McCall, $100,000. That’s not the way you want your money going, that’s for sure.

On top of that huge fine, McCall is now suspended for the next four races. Then, the team will lose 100 owner points, 100 driver points, and 10 playoff points. Rough. Keselowski was cited for, “[m]odification of a single source supplied part” in Atlanta last week. That race in Atlanta was great overall, however, Keselowski finished 12th and received 31 points on the day. For that effort, he will now lose 100 of his total points on the year. This puts his hopes of making the Cup Series Playoffs in danger.

Keselowski would have had 122 points before the fine and penalties. That total would have put him just ahead of Austin Cindric in the points standings, by 1 point. However, after the points were wiped away, the No. 6 is all the way down in 35th. Just above Greg Biffle and below Garrett Smithley. That’s not where he planned himself to be after the first five races of the season.

NASCAR has stripped Brad Keselowski down, how will he respond?

NASCAR Takes Playoff Points from Brad Keselowski

Another thing that NASCAR did to Keselowski, was they took those 10 playoff points. Keselowski hasn’t earned any to start the season. So, if the No. 6 team is able to battle back and make a case for the postseason, then they will just be behind as soon as they start. If I had to bet, I’d say that Keselowski isn’t going to take the Cup Series Playoffs. However, it is a long season and he could prove otherwise.

This is just a tough moment for the driver and his team. However, NASCAR made it clear to everyone that they would not tolerate unapproved changes and parts. So, you have to just take it with your chin held high and try to drive your best week in and week out.

What could settle Keselowski’s worries? Well, how about a win this season? If he takes a checkered flag then he can almost guarantee a spot in the postseason. However, he has to be a top-30 driver to qualify in addition to winning a race. 21 races left this year to get things figured out, what will happen?