NASCAR announced on July 26 that Front Row Motorsports has received L2-Level penalties after an in-depth inspection of the #34 Ford Mustang. Now the Cup Series team has responded and announced that it will resume.
“The Front Row Motorsports (FRM) team continues to assess the penalties imposed on the 34th NASCAR Cup Series team and the circumstances that led to problems with the team’s car following the event in Pocono last weekend,” A statement issued on Twitter said. “FRM has started the appeal process with NASCAR and will not have any further comment until the process reaches a conclusion.”
Penalties issued after Pocono arose for violating Sections 14.1 C, D and Q of the NASCAR rulebook, as well as Sections 14.5 A and B. These sections cover vehicle assembly and single-source part modification.
Penalties included a loss of 100 driver points, 100 owner points, and 10 break points, if any. Crew chief Blake Harris also received a four-race suspension and a $100,000 fine.
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With that statement, there is now a waiting game. FRM will have no further comments on the appeal, nor will NASCAR officials. There will be radio silence until the Sanctions Panel issues a press release stating whether the appeal was successful or if the Appeals Panel upholds the sanctions.
Timing of resumption may affect regular season finale
When NASCAR announced that Team #34 received L2-Level penalties, it included the information that Harris would be away from the team for four races while serving suspension.
This initial schedule means Harris will miss races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway and Watkins Glen International. He would qualify for a return to the regular season finals at Daytona International Speedway, which would likely represent McDowell’s last chance to secure a place in the playoffs with a victory.
Now the schedule can change based on when the appeal is filed. If the committee meets with FRM after the trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ultimately decides to support sanctions, Harris will initiate his suspension. This would keep him out until the end of the regular season and qualify him to return for the first race of qualifying.
Previous Appeal of Level 2 Sanctions Failed
This announcement by Front Row Motorsports marks the second time during the next generation era that a Cup Series team has appealed against L2-Level sanctions. The first appeal, which took place in March, was unsuccessful.
NASCAR released Brad Keselowski’s L2-Level sanctioning RFK and Team #6 race on March 24. These penalties were for violations of Sections 14.1 and 14.5, an amendment to one source portion provided, in the NASCAR Rule Book. A day later, RFK Racing announced that it would resume.
RFK Racing met with the Appeals Committee – Mr. Dixon Johnston, Mr. Bill Mullis and Mr. Del Benellis – and presented their case. This committee eventually decided to support Level II sanctions and announced its decision on April 7. This officially dropped Keselowski outside the top 30 in points, and resulted in Matt McCall losing four races.
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