Michael McDowell team appeals Pocono penalty

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UPDATE: On Aug. 2, the team announced it had dropped its appeal

Front Row Motorsports has filed an appeal with NASCAR over the sanctioning body’s decision to penalize the No. 34 team and driver Michael McDowell for infractions discovered after Sunday’s race at Pocono Raceway.

McDowell was penalized 100 driver points, crew chief Blake Harris was fined $100,000 and suspended for four races, and the team was penalized 100 owner points.

NASCAR said the team had an improperly modified part on the car McDowell drove in Sunday’s race.

“Front Row Motorsports continues to assess the penalties levied against the No. 34 team and the circumstances leading to the issues with the team’s car after the event in Pocono this past weekend,” the team said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “FRM has initiated the appeal process with NASCAR and will have no further comment until after the process has reached a conclusion.”

NASCAR announced before the season that it would be strict concerning violations on the Next Gen car because it is assembled from pieces supplied by outside vendors.

Apparent race winner Denny Hamlin and second-place Kyle Busch were disqualified at Pocono Sunday night because their Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas were found to have small pieces of tape improperly placed on the front ends. JGR did not appeal.

The McDowell car infractions were discovered after the car was delivered to NASCAR’s R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina.