Original post 4-5-2017: NASCAR's National Motorsports Appeals commission still is working to schedule a hearing for Team Penske, ensuring that crew chief Paul Wolfe will be with Brad Keselowski this weekend.
A NASCAR official confirmed Wednesday morning that next week would be the earliest that the team's appeal of a Phoenix penalty would be heard, meaning the deferment of Wolfe's suspension would continue at Texas Motor Speedway.
Team owner Roger Penske said after Keselowski's win at Martinsville that the team felt confident about its chances because it was challenging the consistency of NASCAR procedures. The team is claiming that it received only one attempt to pass the post-race inspection at the LIS platform while others have gotten multiple attempts.
"You get the call that you failed the certain metric, and we wanted to get the car back and look at it ourselves," Penske said, explaining why it waited a week to file an appeal. "We huddled and decided it's going to be better for everybody if we can state our case and maybe overall, (NASCAR will) change some rules so maybe we'll have a level playing field.
-- NBC Sports --
UPDATE 4-12-2017: Brad Keselowski crew chief Paul Wolfe will be suspended for the next two races as a three-member NASCAR appeals panel ruled against Team Penske following a hearing Wednesday. Keselowski's fifth-place car failed postrace inspection March 19 at Phoenix International Raceway as it had a rear steer of more than 0.56 degrees of skew. NASCAR suspended Wolfe for three races, fined him $65,000 and docked Keselowski 35 points. Wolfe sat out one race before Penske decided to appeal the penalty. He is expected to miss the upcoming races at Bristol and Richmond.
-- ESPN.com --
UPDATE 2 4-12-2017: "While we are disappointed in today's results, we plan to immediately request a final appeal hearing as outlined in the NASCAR rulebook. While the appeals process runs its course, we will continue to move forward and our focus will remain on getting prepared for the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway."
-- Team Penske --
UPDATE 3: The final appeal for penalties issued to Brad Keselowski and his Penske team from the March 19 race at Phoenix will be April 25. NASCAR will allow crew chief Paul Wolfe to be at this weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wolfe, who sat out the race following Phoenix, faces a suspension of two additional races and will have to choose whether he wants to be at Bristol with the possibility of missing the following races at Richmond and Talladega. While a crew chief has limited impact at Talladega because there is little room for adjustments on the car, it is one of the 10 NASCAR playoff tracks.
-- ESPN.com --
UPDATE 4, 4-24-2017: The date for Team Penske's final appeal of L1-level penalties issued last month has been pushed back one day due to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race postponement at Bristol. NASCAR officials said the hearing is now scheduled for 6:00pm/et on Wednesday, April 26 at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. It previously had been scheduled for Tuesday.
Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, will preside over the hearing. The session will determine the final outcome of penalties issued March 22 to the Roger Penske-owned #2 Ford team after the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway.
Team Penske filed the paperwork for a final appeal April 13, one day after the three-member National Motorsports Appeal Panel upheld the original penalties. That punishment included a three-race suspension for crew chief Paul Wolfe and a 35-point deduction for Brad Keselowski in the drivers' standings and the same amount for Penske in the owners' standings.
With the appeal pending, a Team Penske official indicated that Wolfe is scheduled to be atop the pit box for Monday's Food City 500 at Bristol. Wolfe already has served one race of his three-race suspension, handing over the helm to Brian Wilson for the March 26 race at Auto Club Speedway.
Moss, the former president at Gulfstream Aerospace, has held the role of National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer since 2014. His ruling on April 26 will be final. The burden of proof will rest with Team Penske in the final appeal process. In the initial hearing, the burden of proof rested with NASCAR.
--- NASCAR.com ---