HAMPTON, Ga. – A favorite going into this NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Martin Truex, Jr. and his crew chief Cole Pearn have been assessed penalties for violations at Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
That announcement came from NASCAR officials Wednesday, who confirmed Truex, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry, had been docked 15 championship drivers points and the car’s owner Barney Visser had been penalized 15 championship owners points while Truex’s crew chief Pearn had been suspended one race, meaning he will be absent from the top of the box when NASCAR heads west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday.
According to the sport, issues with the car’s roof flaps were found during pre-race inspection for last Sunday’s race.
Pearn had been placed on probation the previous week following Truex’s photo finish with Denny Hamlin, where he was narrowly bested by Hamlin to win the 2016 Daytona 500. That probation period was to run through December 31.
Published reports note that probation was placed on Pearn for roof flap issues on the No. 78 car prior to Coors Light Pole Award qualifying at Daytona International Speedway.
Along with his one-race suspension, Pearn has been fined $50,000 for the rules violation. On NASCAR’s Deterrence System for Technical Infractions, the penalties levied against Pearn fall under a P3 violation, which result in a loss of 15 owner and driver points, and/or a fine ranging between $20,000 to $50,000, and/or a crew chief suspension of one or more races and probation for the crew chief and others through the calendar year or a six month span.
The No. 78 team was among nine Sprint Cup Series teams who received penalties or warning from NASCAR following last Sunday’s race. The No. 47 team of A.J. Allmendinger docked 10 driver and owner points and the crew chief was fined $15,000 for pre-qualifying inspection violations at Atlanta. Similar penalties were handed down against the No. 3 of Austin Dillion, the No. 27 of Paul Menard, the No. 31 of Ryan Newman, and the No. 95 of Michael McDowell for pre-race inspection violations.
In addition, the No. 32 of Jeffrey Earnhardt failed template inspection three times during pre-qualifying inspection and received a written warning.
Warning were also given to the No. 83 team of Michael Waltrip, the No. 98 of Cole Whitt and the No. 88 of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for failing template inspection for their cars twice during pre-qualifying inspection.
No statement from Furniture Row Racing has been provided at the time of this story.
Copyright 2016 by Hermes Publications