NASCAR has issued penalties to Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38 team after finding illegal bleeder mechanisms on the tires before Sunday’s Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 at Pocono Raceway.
FRM was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-10.7J (unapproved modification to valve stem hardware) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.
Crew Chief Steve Lane has been fined $100,000, suspended for the next 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, and suspended from NASCAR until September 15 and will be placed on probation until the end of the calendar year. Car chief Richard Bourgeois and tire specialist Michael Harrod received the same penalty, with the exception of the fine.
FRM car owner Doug Yates and driver Travis Kvapil were penalized with the loss of 150 owner’s and driver’s points, respectively. The loss of points drops the No. 38 out of the top-35 in owner’s points. As a result, Robby Gordon moves into the top 35. Thus Gordon won’t need to qualify on speed.
FRM acknowledged the penalty and noted that they will appeal NASCAR’s decision.
Team owner Bob Jenkins said:
We take the rules of this sport very seriously, and we support NASCAR in its enforcement of those rules. It was not our intent to put unapproved valve stem caps on our car at Pocono, a track where such a maneuver would clearly not provide any advantage. We are conducting our own internal investigation to determine how those parts got into our inventory and onto our car last weekend. While we recognize we have to pay for our mistake, this was an unintentional, isolated incident. We plan to immediately submit an appeal through NASCAR’s formal appeal process as outlined by the NASCAR rule book.