Crew chief of Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 Toyota, Cole Pearn, has been suspended by NASCAR for one Sprint Cup Series point race and fined $50,000 for a rules violation that occurred last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Driver Martin Truex Jr., who finished second to Denny Hamlin at Daytona and seventh in Atlanta, has also been penalized 15 championship driver points while team owner Barney Visser has also been penalized 15 championship owner points in connection to the violation.
The infraction involving the roof flap(s) was found during pre-race inspection for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Pearn, 33, was already on probation through Dec. 31, 2016, after the Daytona 500 also for a roof flap(s) infraction found during qualifying. Furniture Row Racing will appeal the penalty and NASCAR has temporarily deferred the suspension and points penalty, which will allow Pearn to join the team this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“Due to the severity of the P3 penalty levied against Furniture Row Racing and its crew chief Cole Pearn today (Wednesday), the No. 78 Sprint Cup team has informed NASCAR it will appeal the decision,” Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row, said in a statement.
“The infraction, which was immediately corrected following technical inspection at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week, was safety related and not competition related. We sincerely appreciate that NASCAR has an appeal process so we can review the level of the penalty.
Other penalties from Atlanta include Randall Burnett, crew chief of the No. 47 JTG Daugherty entry with driver AJ Allmendinger, who was penalized for rear wheel crush panel issues found during pre-qualifying inspection.
Richard Childress Racing crew chiefs Slugger Labbe (No. 3), Justin Alexander (No. 27), Luke Lambert (No. 31), and Leavine Family Racing crew chief Dave Winston (No. 95 Circle Sport) being fined $15,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Each team also lost 10 championship owner and driver points for violating rule 20.4 e – “Unless otherwise stated, all body attachment mounts and supports used to connect body components to the chassis must be constructed of magnetic steel round tubing with a minimum outside diameter of 0.168 inch and a maximum outside diameter of 0.5 inch. All body attachment mounts and supports must be non-adjustable and completely welded at both ends”
Four additional teams (Nos. 32, 83, 88 and 98) received warnings from officials at NASCAR for failing template inspections on multiple occasions.
Vivian Meza is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist
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