Furniture Row Racing comments on the Atlanta Motor Speedway penalty
Furniture Row Racing are the defending champions of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Technically it’s the second race of the season. Though, many in the garage would consider Atlanta to be the ‘first race’ of the season.
The team will be starting Atlanta Motor Speedway from last place on Sunday. In addition, they have lost a crew member and 30 minutes of practice.
The #78 machine of Martin Truex Jr failed to make it beyond NASCAR’s new inspection station. Three failed attempts in pre-qualifying inspection and the team bailed on their attempt to make it on the track for round 1.
Seen below, the team has issued a statement on the penalty handed out yesterday.
The penalty for three failed inspections: 1 crew member ejected; 30 minutes lost in final practice.
The team could have tried for a fourth pass through the new Optical Scanning Station. However, if they failed the penalty levied would have been amplified.
The team elected not to take that chance. Instead, Cole Pearn and Joe Garone bailed on pre-qualifying inspection and entered the NASCAR hauler for a chat with officials. It’s unclear how that meeting went.
It’s NASCAR discretion on which crew member they eject after 3 failed inspections. In this case, they have ejected Blake Harris, the car chief for the #78 team.
Furniture Row Racing: Statement
“NASCAR’s new inspection process is just that … new,” said Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing.
“The tolerances are very tight, within thousandths of an inch. It’s difficult to push the limits where you feel you need to and still be within the tolerances of the new system. One thing we won’t do is leave anything on the table and expect to get poles and wins. We will always push for the maximum,” Garone concluded.
Martin Truex Jr will start 35th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. There’s only 35 cars entered in this years event. Truex will be the only car on the last row of the field.
Truex finished 8th in last years event in Atlanta, Georgia. He has a best finish of 3rd at the 1.54-mile oval. That 3rd place run came back in 2013 with the race was in September.
Other inspection issues: Harrison Rhodes and Jimmie Johnson both failed inspection twice. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Gray Gaulding, Michael McDowell and Cole Whitt were all late to pre-qualifying inspection. All 6 drivers have been handed 15-minute practice penalties.
Sunday’s Folds of Honor/QuikTrip 500 will air live beginning at noon MT (2 p.m. ET) on Fox. Martin Truex Jr has 325 laps to get to the front.
Related: NASCAR announces penalty to #78 team