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Monday, December 5, 2022
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[UPDATE] Front Row Motorsports Appealing Post-Pocono L2 Penalty

Michael McDowell penalty Pocono L2 NASCAR Cup Series Front Row Motorsports
Michael McDowell’s No. 34 Front Row Motorsports team has been hit with an L2 penalty following their car being inspected at the NASCAR R&D center after Pocono. The car was found to have had single source supplied parts modified. Photo Credit: Matthew T. Thacker, NKP, Courtesy of Ford Performance.

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 27th at 2:00 PM ET —

Front Row Motorsports has officially issued a statement that the team will be appealing the L2 penalty, which was assessed to them following their car being taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center following this past weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway.

Front Row Motorsports’ statement read, “Front Row Motorsports (FRM) continues to assess the penalties levied against the No. 34 NASCAR Cup Series team and the circumstances leading to the issues with the team’s car after the event in Pocono this past weekend. FRM has initiated the appeal process with NASCAR and will have no further comment until the process has reached a conclusion.”

An appeal would stall the four-race suspension for crew chief Blake Harris, and it would also restore the point penalties until the appeal has been heard by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel.


ORIGINAL STORY: Tuesday, July 26th at 5:28 PM ET —

The No. 34 Front Row Motorsports team, which fields Ford Mustangs driven by Michael McDowell, has been slapped with an L2 penalty following this past weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway.

The No. 34 car was the eighth-place finisher in Sunday’s race.

McDowell will be docked 100 driver points and 10 Playoff Points, the team will be docked 100 owner points and 10 Owner Championship Playoff Points and crew chief Blake Harris has been fined $100,000 and will be suspended from the next four NASCAR Cup Series events.

According to the NASCAR Cup Series post-event penalty report, the No. 34 team violated sections 14.1 C&D&Q (Overall Assembled Vehicle Reules) and 14.5 A&B (Body). The notation in the report was that the team modified a single source supplied part.

Based on the sections of the rulebook cited, the infraction had to do with the addition of parts and/or modifications of existing parts to affect the aerodynamic properties of the car.

Here are the excerpts from the NASCAR Cup Series rulebook on the sections that the No. 34 team was found to be in violation of:

  • Section 14.1 C: Vehicles must comply with Section 14 Vehicle and Driver Safety Specifications of the NASCAR Rule Book at all times during an Event. Failure to comply will be subject to Penalty pursuant to Section 10 Violations and Disciplinary Action.
  • Section 14.1 D: Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR Rules, installation of additional components, repairs, deletions, and/or modifications to Next Gen Single Source Vendor-supplied parts and/or assemblies will not be permitted.
  • Section 14.1 Q: Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR Rules, installation of additional parts and/or modifications of exiting parts to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle will not be permitted.
  • Section 14.5 A: Bodies must utilize NASCAR-approved OEM body parts and mounting hardware.
  • Section 14.5 B: Body filler will not be permitted on any parts and seams between parts. Part seams and intersections will not be permitted to be smoothed or altered.

The 100 point penalty will drop McDowell from 20th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings to 26th.

The No. 34 car was a random car brought to the NASCAR R&D Center for further evaluation along with the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing car. The No. 11, No. 18 cars, which were disqualified from Sunday’s race were also sent to the R&D Center.

No other issues were detailed in the penalty report from the NASCAR R&D Center inspection.

Toby Christie
Toby Christiehttps://tobychristie.com
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of TobyChristie.com. Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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