By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
The second-place team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings — Furniture Row Racing — has been hit with a penalty after having an issue with their roof flap two weeks in a row. NASCAR announced that the latest infraction, which occurred in pre-race inspection for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta, qualified as a P3 penalty Wednesday.
The penalties include the suspension of Cole Pearn, crew chief of the No. 78, for one race. Pearn will also be fined $50,000. Pearn is already on probation through the end of the season after issues in pre-qualifying inspection at Daytona.
The No. 78 driver, Martin Truex Jr. and the team will be docked 15 points in the driver and owner standings, which drops Truex from second in the championship rankings to eighth.
The team released a statement announcing their intent to appeal the penalties.
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. 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.
Also on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series penalty and warning report for this week, were the infractions of the Richard Childress Racing teams and some of their affiliates who had parts confiscated in Atlanta.
Slugger Labbe, crew chief for the No. 3 team; Justin Alexander, crew chief for the No. 27; Luke Lambert, crew chief for the No. 31 team; Dave Winston, crew chief for the No. 95; and Randall Burnett, crew chief for the No. 47 team — were each fined $15,000 and each team and driver has been docked 10 points in the owner and driver point standings.
As a result of the point penalties, Austin Dillon has dropped to 11th in the standings, Ryan Newman is back to 19th, Paul Menard sits 23rd, AJ Allmendinger is now 29th and Michael McDowell is 30th.
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