One roof flap violation? Probation. A second one just a week later? Time to drop the hammer.
NASCAR announced Wednesday it’s suspended Cole Pearn, crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr.’s No. 78 Toyota, for a race after a violation found during pre-race inspection during the Atlanta race weekend. NASCAR officials found an issue with the roof flap, something that the team had been warned about the previous week at Daytona. Pearn, who was placed on probation for the first incident, was suspended for this second one.
Pearn was also fined $50,000 and Truex’s No. 78 team was docked 15 driver and owner points.
The team will appeal the penalty.
Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing, said on Facebook that the issue “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 will be atop the pit box this weekend at Las Vegas.
Other teams faced penalties on Wednesday, including five teams associated with Richard Childress Racing. The Nos. 3, 27, 31, 47 and 95 teams were all docked 10 driver and owner points. Crew chiefs Slugger Labbe (No. 3, RCR), Justin Alexander (No. 27, RCR), Luke Lambert (No. 31, RCR), Randall Burnett (No. 47, JTG Daugherty Racing) and Dave Winston (No. 95, Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing) were all fined $15,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31.
The No. 47 team was penalized for an illegal rear wheel tub crush panel, while the other four teams were found to have illegal body attachment mounts.
In addition, four more teams received warnings for failing inspection multiple times. The No. 32 of Jeffrey Earnhardt, the No. 83 of Matt DiBenedetto, the No. 88 of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 98 of Cole Whitt were written up.
Jeffrey Earnhardt will lose 15 minutes of practice time due to failing inspection three times.