NASCAR officials issued an L2-level penalty to the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports team on Tuesday, penalizing the team 100 driver points and 100 owner points following the NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.
The penalty comes under Sections 14.1 C, D and Q as well as Sections 14.5 A and B in the NASCAR Rule Book. Those rules apply to the body and overall vehicle assembly rules surrounding modification of a single source supplied part.
Crew chief Blake Harris has additionally been fined $100,000 and suspended from the next four NASCAR Cup Series championship points events. If driver Michael McDowell and the team win one of the five remaining races in the regular season and/or qualifies for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, the team will also be docked 10 playoff points.
Front Row Motorsports announced on Twitter Wednesday that they have initiated the process to appeal the penalty ruling and declined to comment further.
McDowell was credited with a sixth-place finish at Pocono Raceway following the Sunday disqualifications of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, who initially took the checkered flag first and second, respectively, before failing post-race technical inspection. McDowell‘s car and the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet piloted by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were randomly selected by the sanctioning body to be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further inspection.
NASCAR officials released a more stringent penalty structure for the 2022 Cup Series season in January, introducing a list of deterrence options on a three-tiered system — from L1 to L3.
Following the March race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the No. 6 RFK Racing team was handed a near-identical L2 penalty for modifications made to the rear fascia of Brad Keselowski‘s Ford.
Penalty options for an L2 infraction include:
- Points deductions: 75-120points
- Playoff points deductions: 10-25 points
- Suspension of one or two crew members for 4-6 races
- Fines: $100,000-$250,000
“To make sure that all of those things stay above board, there‘s going to have to be a culture shift from the way that the teams and NASCAR, for that matter, have done business,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said in January when announcing the new penalty structure. “So this deterrence model has more meat in it, more meaningful penalties, but I think we all thought that it was time for this with the introduction of the new car.”