The team argued that light damage caused the post-race tech violation at Iowa Speedway; The penalty stands following the appeal
Statements from the team are posted below following the decision to uphold the penalty from Iowa Speedway.
Ross Chastain drove to victory lane on Sunday at Iowa Speedway. In his own words they ‘spanked’ the NASCAR Truck Series competition.
However, about an hour after the race, following the victory lane celebrations, the truck rolled through post-race inspection. After multiple attempts, the truck was found to be illegal with too low in the front end ride heights.
The win was taken away per the new rules put into place which removed the ‘encumbered wins’ of the past. The points and $50,000 bonus were also taken away.
The team elected to appeal the ruling from the track. They argued that minimal damage during the race caused the situation. That appeal was heard on Wednesday and the penalty is upheld.
Ross Chastain on the win being taken away at Iowa Speedway
“We know that we went and spanked them. Like, we stomped them in the dirt. I don’t apologize for that,” Ross Chastain said of the team when speaking to the NBC Sports podcast.
“Static tech height for ride heights is not what won us that race. I can sleep good knowing that we’re bringing the same truck back to Gateway.”
Ross Chastain has little experience on the track near St. Louis, Missouri. Last year, Chastain was a start and park driver in the race. That’s his only start at the speedway.
“There’s been some very upset people involved, Al included. For the way that things are handled and the way that some people acted that we thought were a little better than that.”
“I’m not going to get into naming names. There were some things handled, that’s just not how you handle things. I was more upset about the people side, not even the call or the DQ.”
“We won straight up because dynamic ride height is on the ground. You’re on the race track, scraping the ground, all the way around and everybody is.”
“Then, you have to get it back up and our’s didn’t come up. Why it didn’t come up? I don’t know. They’re still trying to figure that out.”
Ross Chastain on his team’s reaction to the penalty
Al Niece has 99 starts in the NASCAR Truck Series as a team owner. His first win came earlier this year with Ross Chastain. The win at Iowa was his second this year and his second since joined the sport in 2016.
“We’re a little salty, I’ll be honest,” Chastain continued.
“We’re a little wide eyed right now because we were the first ones to have a win taken away. The trickle down and repercussions of that will be falling out for a long time.”
“It shook Al Niece and all of us to our cores. On, ‘What are we doing?’ and ‘Why are we doing this?’ “
“Al’s prepared for years to win races with his race team. This is year 3 or 4. The amount of investment and infrastructure he’s put into this race team… And to get your second win and they take it away.”
“I think it really make him think about, why’s he doing this? And is this worth doing? It did. He’s a guy that wears his emotion on his sleeve and he’s honest.”
“He came in the shop Monday and had some very bone jarring words that was like, ‘Holy cow! This could have a very bad affect on all of our futures.’ His included, mine and NASCAR with his truck team.”
“He’s been the spring board for me to compete for wins this year. It’s scary stuff right now. That’s why we’ll go win this weekend and we will keep winning.”
Niece Motorsports statement after the appeal
The team issued the following statements following the final appeal hearing:
Al Niece (Team Owner): “Although our team disagrees with the decision, we have exhausted our options for recourse and must move on. Our sights will remain set on the obstacle in front of us which is making the playoffs.”
“I firmly believe that Ross and this Niece Motorsports team are capable of rising to the challenge, no mayyer what gets in our way.”
Cody Efaw (General Manager): “I’m proud to work with every single member of this Niece Motorsports team. This team is all heart. We aren’t going to let anyone, or anything get in our way. We have one goal.”
“We’re incredibly thankful to our owner who continues to believe in us and invest in this team. We are looking forward to Gateway.”