NASCAR suspended crew chief Chris Gayle two races and fined him $50,000 along with docking Erik Jones 25 driver points and Furniture Row Racing 25 owner points for a violation discovered at the NASCAR R&D Center this week. Jones’ eighth-place finish at Pocono is an encumbered finish.
NASCAR penalized the No. 77 team for violating Section 20.14.2 – Rear suspension. The truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surface must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.
Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing issued a statement Wednesday.
“We understand and accept NASCAR’s penalty to our No. 77 team. 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.”
The penalty drops Jones from 16th to 18th in the season standings. He had been 125 points out of the final playoff spot, meaning he needed a win to make the playoffs even before the penalty.
Jones was the random selected to have his car taken to the R&D Center for further inspection. NASCAR typically takes the race winner, runner-up and a random to the R&D Center for additional inspection after Cup races.