In an astonishing development, NASCAR announced Sunday evening Chase Elliott was declared the winner of M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at the Pocono race track after Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch’s cars failed their post-race technical check.
After Hamlin took the checkered flag in Sunday’s race with Kyle Busch directly behind him in second, both Joe Gibbs Racing’s cars failed the post-race check, disqualifying both drivers from Sunday’s race. As a result, Elliott – who crossed the finish line in third place – was declared the winner according to NASCAR rules.
It marks Elliott’s fourth victory of the 2022 season and 14th of his career. This is the first time a Cup Series race winner has been disqualified for failing a post-race check since NASCAR resumed the practice of stripping winnings from cars deemed illegal in 2019.
M&M’s Fan Rating Results 400
- #9 – Chase Elliott
- #8 – Tyler Riddick
- #99 – Daniel Suarez
- #20 – Christopher Bell
- #5 – Kyle Larson
- #34 – Michael McDowell
- #19 – Martin Truex Jr.
- #23 – Bubba Wallace
- #43 – Eric Jones
- #3 – Austin Dillon
According to NASCAR, the irregularities on Toyota’s #11 Hamlin and Bosch’s #18-driven Toyota relate to front-end aerodynamics, though Cup Series managing director Brad Morgan did not provide details on what the exact violation was in comments to the media.
“There was really no reason to have some material in a place where it wasn’t supposed to be,” Moran said. “And that basically goes back to DQ.”
Both Hamlin and Bush will have the opportunity to appeal the penalty by noon on Monday, July 25, according to NASCAR. Both vehicles will be returned to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, for further inspection.
This is the first time that NASCAR has stripped a driver of a NASCAR Cup Series race win for failing a post-race technical examination in 62 years. At the April 1960 race at Wilson Speedway, Emmanuel Zervakis was disqualified Because of the very large fuel tankresulting in NASCAR awarding the win to Joe Weatherly.
It is also the first time that the best contestants in a race have been disqualified Since racing in West Palm Beach in December 1955, when both Weatherly and runner-up Jim Reed were stripped of their final positions for an illegal camshaft and illegal valves, respectively. Herb Thomas took the win by finishing third.
Here is a summary of Sunday’s race written right after the checkered flag. Some details have been modified to reflect the official finishing results:
Hamlin vs. Chastain, Part Three
After a quick stop that allowed Ross Chastain to take the lead from Kyle Busch during the green-flag pit stop, Hamlin worked his way up to second and was looking to run to Chastain when Ryan Blaney’s crash led to his warning with 23 laps togo. This put Chastain and Hamlin side by side in the reboot that followed, where things got really interesting.
At a disadvantage at the bottom of the track in Turn 1, Hamlin took a corner of the corner by force, leaning into Chastain’s door as the two exited the corner side by side for the lead. Hamlin Chastain’s aggressive move ran wide and up the racetrack, hitting the outer wall and then falling into the path of Kevin Harvick, who rolled Chastain around the inner wall.
All optics indicated that Hamlin’s move was Chastain’s response to two crashes in the past two months at Gateway and Atlanta. On his account, Hamlin made it clear that he would stand his ground given the way Chastain and others raced.
“I mean, what do you want me to do? What do you expect me to do?” , asked Hamlin rhetorically in his post-race interview. “We got it, and we ran out of the racetrack… We will continue to race hard until we get respect from these guys.
“It’s not just that – we’ve been destroyed four times, twice while driving, in the last 10 months. I’m at the end of it.”
While Hamlin did not answer directly whether the result was now settled between him and Chastain, Chastain seemed to have accepted it as such, acknowledging that Hamlin owed him one.
“I think that’s something I owe a few months ago,” Chastain told NBC Sports. “…I owe that and maybe some more for a few months now.”
Unfortunately, Hamlin’s move on Chastain came with some collateral damage for the driver trying to make qualifying. Harvick’s contact with Chastain saw Harvick go from fourth to 29th. As a result, Harvick is now 83 points behind Martin Truex Jr. to finish last in qualifying on points with five races remaining.
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While Hamlin in his day saw him go up all the way and then go down all the way, his 23XI Racing team had plenty of ups and downs to deal with themselves. After an accident in qualifying on Saturday left him with concussion-like symptoms, Kurt Busch was not allowed to race by NASCAR on Sunday morning. That means Ty Gibbs – NASCAR Xfinity Series star and grandson of Joe Gibbs – has been tapped to fill in Busch and make his Cup Series debut behind the wheel of #45.
Gibbs spent a lot of race-logging laps on his first job behind the wheel of a Cup car, but was able to capitalize on the experience he gained by the end. Gibbs ran inside the top 15 late in the race before settling for 16th.
It remains to be seen whether or not Gibbs’ alternative services will remain in demand. Bush’s statement issued on Sunday He indicated that he was aiming to return to competition next week in Indianapolis.
Rundown race results
- With his third-place finish, Daniel Suarez posted his fifth overall finish this year, marking a new career best for top five players in a single season. He was the former player of the year for Suarez four times in 2019.
- While fifth isn’t much for a driver of Kyle Larson’s caliber, his finish was significant on Sunday which saw Crew Chief Cliff Daniels’ first race back from four-wheel suspension for a wheel loss at Sonoma. With Daniels back in the lead, Larson topped the pole for the first time since Sonoma, successfully passing the field for 18 laps before scoring in 10th.
- Michael McDowell and Front Row Motorsports continue to show how far they have come. With a sixth-place finish, McDowell has continued to build to a career high in the top ten, and now has eight in the year – exactly double the amount he scored in 2020, which at the time was a career-high for a longtime skilled man. which is finally enjoying sustainable success.
- How quickly the narrative has changed: Bubba Wallace ran inside the top five, led multiple laps for the first time since Talladega in April and finished eighth to score in the top 10 in a row for the first time in his cup career. Wallace’s fourth top-10 player this year exceeds the amount he scored in all of 2021, and only one will equal his career high in 2020.
- Some needed to run inside the top 10: Eric Jones saved the weekend after a massive points penalty and lost his crew chief for a technical foul, driving 11 laps and finishing ninth. Austin Dillon finished 10th, scoring his first 10 since Darlington’s comeback in May.
- Alex Bowman finished 11th to get back on track, picking up a streak of two DNFs due to accidents while also posting his best result since the Coca-Cola 600 in May.
- Harrison Burton began to appear regularly in this section of the summary. After using an alternate strategy early in the race, Burton drove a handful of laps for the fourth week in a row. He later finished 23rd, becoming the top finisher rookie after an early crash that destroyed Austin Sendrick’s race.
The NASCAR Cup Series hits the bricks next weekend, as they head to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for their second-ever race around the indoor road track. The Verizon 200 will be in Brickyard next Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
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