NASCAR: Front Row Motorsports, Driver Michael McDowell Drop Appeal Stemming from Pocono Raceway Penalty

by Nick Geddes

Front Row Motorsports (FRM) announced Tuesday they have accepted the L2-Level penalties handed down to NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell and his race team.

FRM said in a statement they have dropped the appeal and furthermore will make changes to its build practices.

“After further assessing penalties levied against its No. 34 NASCAR Cup Series, Front Row Motorsports has notified NASCAR that it will drop its appeal and accept the penalty,” the statement reads. “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.”

Michael McDowell Was a Victim of NASCAR’s Random Inspection Selection

The suspension was handed down July 26 after Michael McDowell was a victim of a random NASCAR R&D selection. McDowell’s No. 34 car was one of the few cars randomly selected for a detailed inspection after the Pocono race.

NASCAR found that the No. 34 team made changes to the seams and body filler. Michael McDowell’s team is facing a deduction of 100 owner points, 100 driver points and 10 NASCAR playoff points. In addition, crew chief Blake Harris is set to be fined $100,000 and is suspended for the next four races.

“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,” NASCAR said. “Those rules apply to the body and overall vehicle assembly rules surrounding modification of a single source supplied part.”

Meanwhile, Chris Yerges – lead engineer for the No. 34 team – will serve as interim crew chief. Yerges’ term will begin with Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

NASCAR continues to be strict this season with modifications to the Next Gen car. Denny Hamlin most recently was stripped of his win at Pocono after failing post-race inspection. Brad Keselowski and his No. 6 race team received the same punishment as McDowell and his team back in March.