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.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.