Even though Chase Elliott, a hometown favourite, never led a lap at Pocono Raceway on Sunday night, the siren at the pool hall in Dawsonville, Georgia, that goes out whenever he wins a race, did indeed sound.
The Dawsonville Pool Room posted a tweet that read, “Winner, winner Joe Gibbs Racing are cheaters.”
Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing had his Pocono victory overturned, while teammate and runner-up Kyle Busch was also disqualified when both Toyotas failed inspections. This was an unprecedented move for a NASCAR Cup Series event.
Elliott moved up from third to win the race for Hendrick Motorsports, giving him four overall victories this year. He didn’t ever take the lead in the No. 9 Chevrolet, and NASCAR also looked over his car.
At Pocono, Hamlin lost his third victory of the year and his seventh victory overall, a record. Busch led the most laps in the race, 63.
On April 17, 1960, Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson Speedway in North Carolina was overturned due to an excessive fuel tank, according to NASCAR, which said that was the last time the organisation disqualified an apparent winner.
In a statement, Joe Gibbs said, “We were shocked to learn of the infraction that caused our two cars to fail NASCAR’s post-race technical inspection.” “We plan to review every part of the process that led to this situation.”
The fines are appealable, and NASCAR’s research and development facility in North Carolina received both Toyotas for additional inspection. Because the wrap was not taken off the cars until after the race, according to NASCAR, the violations were missed during the pre-race inspection.
Brad Moran, managing director of the NASCAR Cup Series, said that “There was some issues discovered that affect aero in the vehicle” had been found. “There really was no reason why there was some material that was somewhere it shouldn’t have been. And that does basically come down to a DQ .”
The front fascia, or nose cone, was in dispute, according to Moran, and final decisions “should be sorted out by next week.”
With the advent of a new car this season, according to Moran, the inspection “rrules have tightened upules have tightened considerably.” The most recent NASCAR model is essentially a kit car. Teams receive identical components from various vendors and are given comprehensive assembly instructions.
“We don’t want to be here talking about this problem,” Moran said. “But the teams and the owners and everybody was well aware that this new car was going to be kept with some pretty tight tolerances. There’s some areas that all the teams are well aware that we can not go down the path that we had in the past with the other car.”
What had been a successful day for JGR was ruined by the mistakes.
With seven victories at Pocono, Hamlin overtook Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon for the most victories there this season. In his rookie season in 2006, Hamlin won both of the races at Pocono, and he added victories in 2009, 2010, 2019, and 2020. He is still tied with the four-time NASCAR champion at this moment.
When the pole-sitter hit the wall on the first lap, Hamlin had a lot to deal with right away. After recovering, he had to watch Busch take the lead for the majority of the race on the 212-mile triangular track because there was still plenty of racing left. Oh, and there was also the tricky matter of resolving a long-standing disagreement with Ross Chastain.
Hamlin tallied two more wrecks from last season after Chastain damaged him twice in a month earlier this year. Chastain had had enough of the watermelon farmer’s reckless driving. With 16 laps remaining in the race, Hamlin drove Chastain into the wall at Pocono after refusing to give his competitor an inch. Chastain crashed into the wall and started a collision that involved several drivers, including Kevin Harvick, who has no wins and is vying for a playoff spot.
Chastain, who has driven for Trackhouse Racing this season and has two victories, knew she deserved to be punished.
Chastain remarked, “I think that’s something that’s been owed to me for a few months now.”
With 49 victories, Hamlin broke his tie with former teammate Tony Stewart for the most victories in NASCAR history.
Hamlin is really close; he co-owns 23XI Racing with Michael Jordan and is a three-time Daytona 500 champion. His failure to win the championship and the first DQ of his Cup career are about the only mistakes on his resume.
Hamlin dispatched his small daughter to get the checkered flag after she started crying happily. As she crawled through the passenger-side window and completed a winning lap at Pocono with her father at the wheel, Taylor Hamlin gripped the flag.
Yep, good luck getting that back, Hamlin tweeted alongside a picture of his daughter holding the flag.
NASCAR may make a similar remark to him regarding his championship medal.
In his maiden Cup appearance, Ty Gibbs placed 16th for 23XI Racing, filling in for the injured Kurt Busch.
Busch’s head was hurt during a strong impact on Saturday during qualifying, and NASCAR’s medical team did not give the driver the all-clear to compete. The door was now open for Gibbs, a 19-year-old.
The Joe Gibbs’ grandson temporarily donned Busch’s firesuit and Hamlin’s sneakers.
“I never thought I’d race with these guys,” Gibbs said. “It was just cool being next to them on the track. To 10-year-old Ty, that means a lot.”
Grandpa Joe felt rather accomplished. “He was discouraged that he couldn’t get more out of it,” Gibbs added. “I think he realizes how tough it is.”
Gibbs is still concerned that Kyle Busch and JGR have not established new communication.
“We had a couple of companies, we thought [were in] that wound up to be disappointments for us,” Gibbs said. “But it is hard and it is discouraging.”
The following weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar and NASCAR coexist. On Saturday, IndyCar races on the road circuit; on Sunday, NASCAR races.