Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have been disqualified after the NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway
Update: This post has been updated below following a statement from NASCAR and another from Joe Gibbs Racing.
On Sunday, NASCAR visited Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Pocono Raceway hosted the event on the 2.5-mile triangle.
Hear from NASCAR following the violations below.
In stage three, Denny Hamlin shoved Ross Chastain into the outside wall while battling for the lead. This was the result of payback from multiple incidents in previous races.
After the race, race winner Denny Hamlin and runner-up finisher Kyle Busch each failed post-race inspection. Both cars are out of the Joe Gibbs Racing stables.
However, the contact with Chastain wasn’t the result of the penalty. Instead, it was an issue related to aerodynamics.
Chase Elliott crossed the finish line in 3rd. He has been declared the official race winner.
Hamlin led 21 of the 160 laps en route to the finish line. Instead, Hamlin and Busch will be regulated to the finish two spots on the results sheet.
NASCAR noted that the issues were not discovered in pre-race tech. The violations were discovered under the graphic wraps of each car. Wraps are not removed during pre-race tech.
Joe Gibbs Racing has the opportunity to appeal the penalty by noon on Monday, July 25.
Brad Moran comments
“We were doing our post race inspection. There were some issues discovered relating to aero of the vehicles,” NASCAR’s Brad Moran stated.
“The part was the front fascia. There really was no reason there was some material where it shouldn’t have been.”
“That does basically come down to a DQ. The no. 11 of Denny Hamlin and the No. 18 of Kyle Busch, their vehicles are being loaded into the NASCAR hauler. They’ll go back to the R&D Center.”
“The final results will be changed. They have the opportunity to appeal it. It will be sorted by next week.”
“We can’t go into all the details of what the issues were. But, both vehicles had the same issue. Unfortunately, they were not acceptable to pass inspection.”
“It’s unfortunate, we don’t want to be here talking about this. We just saw a great race. But, the teams and owners are well aware that this new car was going to be kept with some pretty tight tolerances.”
“And, there’s some areas that the teams are aware, we cannot be going down the path that we had in the past, with the other car. It is partially to do with the new car. The rules have tightened up.”
“Everyone has to abide by our new rules.”
Moran was asked if there could be additional penalties or suspensions beyond the DQs.
“Not from what we’ve seen at this point. We are bringing the vehicles back for further evaluation. So, we will look much closer at both vehicles.”
Moran concluded, “We are hopefully not going to find anything else.”
This marks the first disqualification for a winner since stricter penalties were introduced for the 2019 season.
Update: July 25, 2022
Joe Gibbs Racing has stated that they will not appeal the penalties.
The team issued the following statement:
“In our review of the post-race infractions on the 11 and 18 cars at Pocono it was discovered that a single piece of clear tape was positioned over each of the lower corners of the front fascia, ahead of the left-front and right-front wheel openings on both cars,” stated Wally Brown, Director of Competition for JGR.
“The added pieces were two inches wide and 5 1/2 inches long with a thickness of 0.012 inches and installed under the wrap.”
Brown concluded, “This change in our build process was not properly vetted within our organization and we recognize it is against NASCAR’s rules. We apologize to everyone for this mistake, and we have made changes to our processes to ensure that it does not happen again.”
As the team announced they would not appeal the penalties, Chase Elliott is officially the winner.