Furniture Row Racing has decided to withdraw its appeal with regards to a pre-race infraction at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Joe Garone, the president of Furniture Row Racing, has informed NASCAR about the withdrawal. He had also met with NASCAR officials and was said to have been satisfied with the clarification he received regarding the penalty. As a result, the team’s crew chief, Cole Pearn, will now serve a one-race suspension.
The pre-qualifying infraction involving a roof-flap violation in Atlanta is not the first for Pearn this season. A similar infraction was also discovered during the season-opening Daytona 500 race, which kept No. 78 driver Martin Truex Jr. from qualifying. After the Daytona 500, Pearn had received a P2 level penalty and was put on probation through December 31, 2016. Following the infraction in Atlanta, however, Pearn’s penalty was raised to a P3.
Pearn’s suspension will be made effective during the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend in Phoenix. Following the infraction in Atlanta, Truex has also been penalized 15 championship driver points, while the team also received a penalty of 15 championship owner points.
Taking over Pearn’s duties during the Phoenix race will be former Furniture Row Racing crew chief Todd Berrier, who happens to be the director of fabrication for Joe Gibbs Racing. Pearn and Berrier had previously worked together in the team, with Pearn serving as lead race engineer while Berrier, the crew chief. Previously, the two worked together at Richard Childress Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing.
Garone said he is grateful to Berrier for going “the extra mile to help us out.” Moreover, he said, “We are very proud to have a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and are deeply grateful for its quick response to offer assistance.”