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Truex Jr. Doesn’t Believe Penalty Will Faze 78 Team

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Earlier this week, NASCAR announced Cole Pearn, crew chief for Martin Truex Jr., had been suspended for one race following a rule violation found during the pre-race technical inspection at Atlanta. Furniture Row Racing has decided to appeal the penalty, and as a result, Pearn’s suspension is currently deferred and he is at the track this weekend.
Speaking with the media Friday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Truex Jr. said the team won’t be any more motivated than usual, but Pearn has been slightly bothered by it.
“From Cole’s side, I think he’s a bit frustrated from how it went down, which is understandable,” Truex Jr. said. “I think people in the garage area talk and he feels like, ‘Do people really think I’m stupid enough after what happened at Daytona to try to pull something on NASCAR in the same area?’
“He’s a little frustrated by that side of it, but at the same time, being it’s a safety issue, it’s really a big deal to figure out exactly how it all happened. Figure out how to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
The violation was about the roof flaps, which Furniture Row Racing ran into issues with before Daytona 500 qualifying, resulting in Pearn being put on probation. In a statement about their decision to appeal the penalty, Furniture Row noted it was safety related and would not give them a competition advantage.
“It’s not like we were trying to pull something over on somebody,” Truex said. “This was a case where something happened, and they don’t really understand. I’ll let the team go through the appeal process and do what they have to do.”
Once NASCAR noticed the issue in pre-race technical inspection, the team made the required change necessary. Truex started from the ninth position, running solidly throughout and finished seventh.
“At the end of the day, we ran Atlanta without any issues. We obviously had a fast car and very competitive day on the race track,” Truex said. “I’m just really looking forward to continuing that today. I’ll let the team figure out that side of things and do my job this weekend.”
If the appeal is denied and Pearn has to sit out a race, it isn’t something the team will fret over as Truex is confident they won’t miss a beat.
“We have a lot of good people we can plug in to call the race and obviously Cole will be a huge part of getting our car to the race track the way he wants it and helping us get through the weekend setup-wise and making decisions,” Truex said. “I don’t really see it being a big issue. I wish it didn’t have to happen, but it’s part of it.”

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