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The Front Row Motorsports driver, who was sitting 20th in the championship standings, has taken a major hit after violations were found on the No. 34 Ford Mustang.
NASCAR has docked both the driver and team 100 points, as well as ten playoff points.
Crew chief Blake Harris has been fined $100,000 and suspended for the next four races.
The penalty drops McDowell to 27th in the standings. McDowell’s car and the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were randomly selected by the sanctioning body after Pocono and taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further inspection.
NASCAR says that the No. 34 Ford violated Sections 14.1 C&D&Q Overall Assembled Vehicle Rules in the NASCAR Rule Book.
The penalty report read as follows: Modification of a single source supplied part. Additionally, All L2 Penalties found after Post-Race inspection is completed will result in a Penalty(ies) based off the minimum Penalty options and the Race finishing position will not count towards eligibility for the Playoffs, advancement in the Playoffs, eligibility for non-Points Events, and tie breakers.
This penalty follows the double-disqualification of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars after Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished 1-2 last weekend. The issue here appears to be unrelated.
In March, Brad Keselowski’s No. 6 RFK Racing team was handed a similar penalty to FRM and McDowell, after modifications were made to the rear fascia of the car.