In a shocking development, NASCAR made the announcement Sunday evening Chase Elliott was declared the winner of the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway after the cars of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch failed post-race technical inspection.
After Hamlin took the checkered flag in second with Kyle Busch behind him in Sunday’s race, both Joe Gibbs Racing cars failed post-race inspection, resulting in both drivers being disqualified from Sunday’s race. As a result, Elliott — who crossed the finish line third — was declared the winner according to the NASCAR rulebook.
The win marked Elliott’s fourth of the 2022 season and 17th of his career. It marks the first time since NASCAR resumed the practice of stripping wins from cars deemed illegal in 2019 that the winner of a Cup Series race has been disqualified for failing a post-race inspection.
M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 results
- #9 – Chase Elliott
- #8 – Tyler Reddick
- #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, Hamlin drove the no. 11 driven by Toyota and Busch no. Both 18 Toyotas were concerned with front-end aerodynamics, although Cup Series executive director Brad Morgan did not say what the exact violation was. In comments to the media.
“There’s really no reason to have some stuff where it shouldn’t have been. It basically comes down to a DQ,” Moran said.
Both Hamlin’s and Busch’s teams have until noon on Monday, July 25 to appeal the penalty, according to NASCAR. Both cars will be taken to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, NC for further inspection.
It was the first time in 62 years that NASCAR had a driver win a NASCAR Cup Series race for failing post-race technical inspection. In the April 1960 race at Wilson Speedway, Emanuel Chervakis was disqualified. To have a very large fuel tankNASCAR led to the victory being awarded to Joe Weatherly.
It was also the first time that the top two finishers in the race were disqualified From a race in West Palm Beach in December 1955, Weatherly and second-place finisher Jim Reid were both disqualified from the finals for illegal camshafts and illegal valves, respectively. Herb Thomas, who finished third, was awarded the win.
Here is a replay of Sunday’s race written immediately after the checkered flag. Some details have been changed to reflect the official final results:
Hamlin vs. Chastain, Part III
After a quick pit stop that allowed Ross Chastain to take the lead from Kyle Busch in a cycle of green flag stops, Hamlin took second and was trying to run down Chastain when a crash by Ryan Blaney brought out a caution with 23 laps to go. to go It was Chastain and Hamlin side by side on the next restart and that’s where things got really interesting.
At a disadvantage at the bottom of the track in Turn 1, Hamlin forced an angle out of the corner, leaning into Chastain’s door as the two exited the corner side-by-side for the lead. Hamlin’s aggressive move ran Sustain wide and up the racetrack, where he hit the outside wall, then shot into the path of Kevin Harvick, who spun around Chaston and into the inside wall.
All optics suggested Hamlin’s action was payback against Chastain for two incidents in the last two months at Gateway and Atlanta. In his account, Hamlin made it clear that he was going to stick with the way he raced by Chastain and others.
“I mean, what did you want me to do? What did you expect me to do?”, Hamlin asked rhetorically in his post-race interview. “We caught him and he left the racetrack … we’re going to race hard until we get respect from these guys.
“Not only that — we’ve been blown out four times in the last 10 months, twice when we were in the lead. I’m at the end of it.”
Although Hamlin didn’t directly answer whether or not the score was now settled between him and Chastain, Chastain took it as is, acknowledging that Hamlin owes him.
“I think it’s something that’s been due to me for a few months now,” Chastain told NBC Sports. “…I still owe you a few months.”
Unfortunately, Hamlin’s move on Chastain caused some collateral damage for the driver trying to make the playoffs. Harvick’s contact with Chastain dropped Harvick from fourth to 29th. As a result, Harvick is now 83 points behind Martin Truex Jr. for the final spot in the playoffs in points with five races to go.
Ty for your help
On Hamlin’s day he went all the way up and then all the way back, his 23XI Racing team had plenty of ups and downs to overcome themselves. Kurt Busch was cleared to race by NASCAR on Sunday morning after a crash in qualifying on Saturday left him with concussion-like symptoms. That means Ty Gibbs — NASCAR Xfinity Series star and grandson of Joe Gibbs — was tapped to fill in for Busch and make his Cup Series debut behind the wheel of the No. 45.
Gibbs spent most of the race locking laps in his first stint behind the wheel of a Cup car, but was able to make the experience he gained count through the result. Gibbs ran into the top 15 late in the race and managed to finish a respectable 16th.
Whether or not Gibbs’ replacement services will continue to be needed remains to be seen. Bush’s statement was released Sunday He suggested he is aiming to return to the race next week in Indianapolis.
Summary of race results
- By finishing third, Daniel Suarez earned his fifth top-five finish, setting a new career best for top-five finishers in a season. Suarez’s previous best in 2019 was four to five matches.
- While a fifth-place finish isn’t much for a driver of Kyle Larson’s caliber, his finish was remarkable in team leader Cliff Daniels’ first race back from a four-race suspension for losing a wheel at Sonoma. With Daniels back in the pit box, Larson led for the first time since Sonoma, pacing the field for 18 laps before scoring a top-10 finish.
- Michael McDowell and Front Row Motorsports continue to show how far they’ve come. With the sixth finish, McDowell continued his streak of top-10 finishes in his career, and he now has eight on the year — more than double the total he scored in 2020. Finally high for a long time traveler who is enjoying lasting success.
- How quickly the narrative changes: Bubba Wallace ran in the top five, led multiple laps for the first time since Talladega in April, finished eighth and scored the first top-10 finish in his Cup career. Wallace’s fourth top 10 total is more than his total in 2021, and one will match his career-high set in 2020.
- Needs a few runs into the top 10: Eric Jones salvaged his weekend after a major points penalty and the loss of his team leader for a technical violation, leading 11 laps and finishing ninth. Austin Dillon finished 10th, his first top 10 finish since Darlington in May.
- Alex Bowman got back on track in 11th, snapping a two-race streak of DNFs due to crashes.
- Harrison Burton continues to appear in this section of our review. After using an alternate strategy early in the race, Burton led a few laps for the fourth week in a row. He then finished 23rd, the highest finisher after an early crash ruined Austin Cindy’s race.
The NASCAR Cup Series hits the bricks next weekend as they head to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second race around the track’s infield road course. The Verizon 200 at the Brickyard is next Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
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