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NASCAR Cup: Erik Jones loses crew chief for two races

No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Erik Jones (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Erik Jones (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chris Gayle, crew chief on the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Team of Erik Jones in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, has been suspended for two races, beginning with Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, and fined $50,000, according to the weekly penalty announcement released by NASCAR on Wednesday. Jones and the race team have been docked 25 driver and car owner points, and their eighth-place finish in the Overton’s 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., on July 30 has been labeled “encumbered” by NASCAR.

“We understand and accept NASCAR’s penalty to our No. 77 team,” Furniture Row Racing President Joe Garone said. “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.”

The penalties are a result of an issue with the rear suspension of the car after the Pocono race. The No. 77 car was the car randomly chosen to be included with the top race finishers to be further inspected at NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. The car underwent a thorough inspection at the R&D Center on Tuesday and an issue with the truck-trailing arm spacer and pinion angle shim was discovered.

“The truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times,” read the penalty report from NASCAR.

Adam Stevens, crew chief for Kyle Busch on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team, and Roush Fenway Racing crew chiefs Brian Pattie and Matt Puccia of the No. 17 and No. 6 Ford teams of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne were each fined $10,000 for their cars each having one lug nut missing or loose at the end of the Pocono race.

Fines were also issue to NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck series teams for missing/loose lug nuts after races at Iowa Speedway in Newton and Pocono Raceway. Phil Gould, crew chief on the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford team of Ryan Reed, was fined $5,000 over a lug nut after Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa. Trip Bruce, crew chief for Stewart Friesen on the No. 52 Halmar Friesen team in the Truck Series, was fined $2,500 after the Overton’s 150 at Pocono on Saturday.

Follow  Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on August 2, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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