NSCS: Penalties Announced After Atlanta Race Weekend; Pearn Suspended, Six Teams Lose Points

Jacob Seelman Featured, NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR photo —

NASCAR levied penalties to six Sprint Cup teams on Tuesday afternoon for infractions committed during the Atlanta Motor Speedway race weekend, with single-car Furniture Row Racing being hammered after a second-straight week with a roof flap issue.

The P3 infraction — discovered during pre-race inspection on Sunday — means that Cole Pearn, crew chief for the No. 78 Toyota, has been suspended for one race and fined $50,000. In addition, driver Martin Truex Jr. has been penalized with the loss of 15 championship driver points and owner Barney Visser has been penalized with the loss of 15 championship owner points.

Furniture Row Racing announced after the decision was released that they would appeal the penalties.

“Due to the severity of the P3 penalty levied against Furniture Row Racing and its crew chief Cole Pearn (Wednesday), the No. 78 Sprint Cup team has informed NASCAR it will appeal the decision,” FRR President Joe Garone said. “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.”

Pearn’s suspension and fine will be deferred until the appeals process is complete, and no specific date was set for the first-level hearing at the time of writing.

The team had already received a P2 penalty following Daytona, for a roof flap issue discovered in the qualifying line that prevented Truex from laying down a lap in Daytona 500 time trials. Pearn was on probation through the end of the year for that infraction before the newest wave of penalties released on Tuesday.

Five Chevrolet teams — three from Richard Childress Racing and two RCR-affiliated teams (the No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing entry and the No. 95 Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing entry) — were also handed penalties following Atlanta.

All five crew chiefs (Slugger Labbe, Justin Alexander, Luke Lambert, Randall Burnett and Dave Winston) have been fined $15,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31, while the drivers and owners for car No. 3, car No. 27, car No. 31, car No. 47 and car No. 95 were each docked 10 championship driver and owner points.

Four teams received written warnings after they failed a template inspection station multiple times — Jeffrey Earnhardt, Matt DiBenedetto, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Cole Whitt — but did not receive any points penalties or fines.

Jeffrey Earnhardt’s warning also comes with a 15 minute loss of practice time, as he failed the same inspection station three times. The other three teams warned only failed their inspection stations twice.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action on March 6 with the running of the Kobalt 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at: speed77radio@gmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

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