Furniture Row Racing has been penalized for this weekend
Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr never made it to the track for qualifying today at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Yet, he wasn’t the only one to have issues. Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson and his Hendrick Motorsports team also suffered several failed attempts at pre-qualifying inspection. Johnson was able to get on the track in the closing minutes of round 1, he transfered through to round 2.
A Furniture Row Racing crew member has been ejected from Atlanta Motor Speedway. The defending champions skipped qualifying all together to avoid further a further penalty due to a possible fourth attempt and failure.
“Well, it’s unfortunate that we had multiple failures in what was otherwise a very successful debut of the Optical Scanning Station here for a downforce track,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller told Fox Sports.
“We had rear wheel alignment problems and we had body scan problems. We just weren’t able to get all of the things legal in those attempts and here we are.”
What issues exactly?
“We had body scan problems for the rear wheel openings and we had rear two failures as well. Between the combination of those, times 3, we just didn’t get a green light by the 3rd time.”
After the 3rd failure, Furniture Row Racing elected to skip a 4th attempt. Instead, Cole Pearn and Joe Garone marched over to the NASCAR hauler to engage in a conversation.
“That’s what they elected to do, not to risk further penalty. Over an above, in case they failed the 4th time.”
Due to three failed attempts the team has already been handed a penalty. FRR car chief, Blake Harris has been ejected from the event. A fourth failure would have netted stiffer penalties for the team.
“We have the option to suspend a crew member. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the car chief. That’s at our discretion. We’ve kind of tabbed the car chief as an important individual. That’s likely what we’re going to do.”
By the rule, it’s a crew member ejection. It’s not guaranteed that it will be the car chief until it’s official. Which it will be shortly.
In addition, Martin Truex Jr will serve a 30 minute practice penalty. New for 2018, practice penalties are served at the end of practice instead of at the beginning of the session. With 30 minutes left in final practice, Truex Jr will be black flagged and forced to the garage area.