NASCAR Disqualifies Denny Hamlin from Pocono Win
Copyright: Logan Riely - Getty Images
NASCAR disqualified race winner Denny Hamlin and second-place teammate Kyle Busch from today's Cup Series race at Pocono. As a result of the decision, Chase Elliott was promoted to race winner. Elliott's car passed a similar post-race inspection and no other cars were disqualified.
The cars were thought to have illegally positioned "material" on the front fascia, resulting in an apparent aerodynamic advantage. As a representative of the series explains, these cars are now being fully studied at NASCAR's research and development center. Restricting modifications to aero components is a key focus of the next-gen car, so NASCAR decided to use its heaviest penalty available. Since the appeals process hasn't started yet, the series has decided not to explain the disqualification in detail just yet.
The decision is appealable, although the serious nature of a disqualification means the series will expedite this process over the next week. If this process results in those two cars remaining disqualified, Elliott will retain the win and the rest of the field will be two places above his post-race position. So far, no other post-race penalty has been imposed.
The decision is historic. Because series founder Bill France Sr. made a point of retaining a race-day winner after a three-day review of the finish of the first Daytona 500, disqualifications have been rare throughout the history of the series. Drivers have lost victories on flat tracks before for violating track limits, but disqualifications from race wins have remained a largely untapped threat up to this point. That changed today, a decision that will potentially change how other teams approach the outer limits of the series rulebook.
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