NASCAR hammers another cheater team (2nd Update)

Front Row Motorsports announced Tuesday that the organization has abandoned its plan to appeal L2-level penalties against its No. 34 Ford team.

FRM indicated in a statement that the team informed NASCAR that the organization has accepted the penalty and that “the team has made internal changes in its build practices to ensure the issues leading to the penalties will not happen again in the future.”

The 100-point penalty assessed July 26 to both driver Michael McDowell and team owner Bob Jenkins in their respective Cup Series standings will now stand. The four-race suspension for crew chief Blake Harris will go into effect beginning this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

Chris Yerges, lead engineer for the No. 34 team, will take over as the interim crew chief starting with Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan.

July 27, 2022 

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 after the process has reached a conclusion.

July 27, 2022 

For decades, NASCAR teams always knew they could cheat to win, and they will never lose the victory.  Cheating was inbred into the NASCAR culture since the days of the moonshiners.

It was what you did.

Not anymore.  After decades of hammering NASCAR for allowing cheating to run rampant, NASCAR has finally started to get serious about stopping it.

They disqualified the first and second place Joe Gibbs cars at Pocono Sunday evening.

Now 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.

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.”


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