Furniture Row No. 77 team hit with suspension, fine after Pocono

LONG POND, PA - JUNE 11: Erik Jones, driver of the #77 GameStop/Cars 3 - Driven to Win Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Axalta presents the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 11, 2017 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

NASCAR issued its weekly penalty report Wednesday for this past weekend’s races in Pocono and Iowa and the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing team was hit with an L1-level penalty.

NASCAR said the Toyota raced by driver Erik Jones was found to have a rear-suspension violation per Section 20.14.2 of the NASCAR Rule Book. Jones’s eighth-place finish was ruled encumbered. In addition, crew chief Chris Gayle was fined $50,000 and suspended for two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship points events. The team was also assessed with the loss of 25 owner points and 25 driver points.

A 25-point drop in driver points would put Jones 150 points below the playoff cutline. The team later said it will not appeal the penalty:

“We understand and accept NASCAR’s penalty to our No. 77 team.” Furniture Row Racing team president Joe Garone  said in an emailed statement. “We will not appeal the unintentional infraction with the rear suspension and will move on with team engineer James Small taking over as the interim crew chief for the next two races.”

Three other teams in the Monster Energy Series were also fined for lug-nut violations at Pocono. The No. 18 of race-winning driver Kyle Busch, the No. 17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 6 of Trevor Bayne were all found to have one lug nut improperly installed.

The result were $10,000 fines for each crew chief — Adam Stevens, Brian Pattie and Matt Puccia.

Finally, the crew chiefs for the No. 16 in the Xfinity Series (Phil Gould, $5,000) and the No. 52 in the Camping World Truck Series (Trip Bruce, $2,500) were fined for lug-nut violations in their respective events last weekend at Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway.

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