Quick Bit: Hamlin thought he had set a record at one of his favorite tracks, but almost two after the end of the race, he and second-place finisher Busch were disqualified by NASCAR.
Denny Hamlin thought he had captured his third win of the season and a record seventh victory at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. But about two hours after the checkered flag was waved, Hamlin and his teammate Kyle Busch, who crossed the finish line second, were disqualified following postrace inspection.
Third-place finisher Chase Elliott was declared the winner, adding to his 2022 NASCAR Cup Series win total. He now has four for the season.
Elliott’s win was the first awarded by disqualification since NASCAR increased postrace penalties in 2019.
It had been a hard-fought race for Hamlin, who took out Ross Chastain as the two battled for the lead with 18 laps remaining. Hamlin then held off a late push from Busch to win the race.
Here’s why the two Joe Gibbs Racing teammates were disqualified:
Why were Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch disqualified?
The two drivers were disqualified after their cars were inspected following the race.
NASCAR Cup Series managing director Brad Moran told reporters, including Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, that there was extra material on the front fascia of the cars, which affected the aerodynamics of the car such that it warranted disqualification.
Moran said both cars are headed to NASCAR’s research and development center.
“The final results have been changed to show that the two DQs were there and they have the opportunity to appeal it. It will be all sorted out by next week,” Moran said. “I can’t get into all the details of what the issues were, but both vehicles had the same issue and unfortunately, they were not acceptable to pass inspection.”
No other cars have been disqualified and, as of now, no further point reductions or suspensions are expected, per Moran. But he also said the cars will be inspected further.
How were the disqualifications related to NASCAR’s next gen car?
When asked whether the issue was related at all to these being next gen cars, Moran said that it was “partly to do” with the cars and additional rules surrounding the vehicles.
“It’s unfortunate. We don’t want to be here talking about this. We just saw a great race. Last thing we want to do is meet here afterwards and talk about this problem,” Moran said. “But the teams and the owners and everybody is well aware that this new car was going to be kept with some pretty tight tolerances, and there’s some areas that all the teams are well aware that we cannot be going down the path that we had in the past with the other cars.”
What has Denny Hamlin said about the DQ?
Hamlin had a quick response on social media Sunday night. Quote-tweeting a photo of his daughter, Taylor, celebrating her dad’s win with the checkered flag, Hamlin wrote, “Yeah, good luck getting that back.”
Hamlin is now credited with a 35th-place finish, while Busch is credited with a last-place finish of 36th.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More