No. 77 Monster Energy Series team receives L1-level penalty

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The No. 77 Furniture Row Racing team received an L1-level penalty on Wednesday following the Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway. Erik Jones’s eighth-place finish was ruled encumbered after the Toyota he was driving was found to have a rear-suspension violation per Section 20.14.2 of the NASCAR Rule Book.

Crew chief Chris Gayle was fined $50,000 and suspended for two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship points events. The team also was assessed with the loss of 25 owner points and 25 driver points.

The team will not appeal the penalty, according to a statement released Wednesday evening . A 25-point drop in driver points put Jones 150 points below the playoff cutline.

“We understand and accept NASCAR’s penalty to our No. 77 team. We will not appeal the unintentional infraction with the rear suspension and will move on with team engineer James Small taking over as the interim crew chief for the next two races.”

Fines also were handed out to three other teams in the Monster Energy Series for lug-nut violations at Pocono. The No. 18 of race-winning driver Kyle Busch, the No. 17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 6 of Trevor Bayne were all found to have one lug nut improperly installed.

The result of those safety violations were $10,000 fines for each crew chief — Adam Stevens, Brian Pattie and Matt Puccia, respectively.

In addition, the crew chiefs for the No. 16 in the XFINITY Series (Phil Gould, $5,000) and the No. 52 in the Camping World Truck Series (Trip Bruce, $2,500) were fined for lug-nut violations in their respective events last weekend at Iowa Speedway and Pocono Raceway.