Martin Truex Jr. crew chief suspended, fined; team appealing

NASCAR on Wednesday handed down a host of penalties for inspection violations at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend.

The most serious of these was given to Furniture Row Racing. Cole Pearn, crew chief of the No. 78 Furniture Row Toyota, was fined $50,000 and suspended one race, while the team loses 15 owner points and driver Martin Truex Jr. lost 15 driver points.

This was the second race in a row that the team had issues with NASCAR inspection. During Daytona 500 qualifying, the team was found to have a roof flap that NASCAR officials said was out of spec. As a result, the team was not allowed to make a qualifying attempt.

The issue at Atlanta also involved a roof flap.


The team said it would appeal, which means the penalties are deferred until the appeal process is complete. That means Pearn will be to work this Sunday’s Kobalt 400 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,” the team 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.”

Also penalized were the crew chiefs of the three Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets and the No. 95 Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet. All four of the crew chiefs — Slugger Labbe, No. 3; Justin Alexander, No. 27; Luke Lambert, No. 31; and Dave Winston, No. 95 — were fined $15,000 each, with a loss of 10 owner and driver points for each team for improper body mounts.  

AJ Allmendinger’s crew chief, Randall Burnett, was also fined $15,000, with the JTG Daugherty Racing driver and team losing 10 points each.