Front Row Motorsports Responds to L2-Level Penalties

Michael McDowell

Getty Michael McDowell's team has announced its intention to appeal.

NASCAR announced on July 26 that Front Row Motorsports had received L2-Level penalties after an in-depth examination of the No. 34 Ford Mustang. Now the Cup Series team has responded and announced it will appeal.

“Front Row Motorsports (FRM) continues to assess the penalties levied against the No. 34 NASCAR Cup Series team and the circumstances leading to the issues with the team’s car after the event at Pocono this past weekend,” a statement released on Twitter said. “FRM has initiated the appeal process with NASCAR and will have no further comment until after the process has reached a conclusion.”

The penalties issued after Pocono stemmed from a violation of Sections 14.1 C, D, and Q of the NASCAR Rule Book, as well as Sections 14.5 A and B. These sections cover the vehicle assembly and the modification of a single-source supplied part.

The penalties included the loss of 100 driver points, 100 owner points, and 10 playoff points, if applicable. Crew chief Blake Harris also received a four-race suspension and a $100,000 fine.

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With this statement made, there is now a waiting game. FRM will not have any more comments about the appeal, nor will NASCAR officials. There will be radio silence until the sanctioning body issues a press release saying whether the appeal was successful or if the appeals panel upheld the penalties.


The Timing of the Appeal Could Affect the Regular-Season Finale

Michael McDowell

GettyMichael McDowell continues to pursue a spot in the playoffs.

When NASCAR announced that the No. 34 team received the L2-Level penalties, it included the information that Harris would be away from the team for four races while serving a suspension.

This initial timeline meant that Harris would miss races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Richmond Raceway, and Watkins Glen International. He would be eligible to return for the regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway, which would likely represent McDowell’s final opportunity to secure a spot in the playoffs with a win.

Now the timeline could change based on when the appeal takes place. If the panel meets with FRM after the trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ultimately decides to uphold the penalties, Harris would begin his suspension. This would keep him out through the end of the regular season and make him eligible to return for the first race of the playoffs.


A Previous Appeal for L2-Level Penalties Failed

This announcement by Front Row Motorsports marks the second time during the Next Gen era that a Cup Series team has appealed L2-Level penalties. The first appeal, which took place in March, was not successful.

NASCAR issued L2-Level penalties to RFK Racing and the No. 6 team of Brad Keselowski on March 24. These penalties were due to violations of Sections 14.1 and 14.5, the modification of a single source supplied part, in the NASCAR Rule Book. One day later, RFK Racing announced that it would appeal.

RFK Racing met with the appeals panel — Mr. Dixon Johnston, Mr. Bill Mullis, and Mr. Dale Pinilis — and presented its case. This panel ultimately decided to uphold the L2-Level penalties and announced its decision on April 7. This officially dropped Keselowski to outside of the top 30 in points, and it led to Matt McCall missing four races.

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